, Volume 107, Issue 8, pp 1384-1390

A fluorogenic 5′ nuclease (TaqMan) assay to assess dosage of a marker tightly linked to red skin color in autotetraploid potato

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Abstract

We have recently identified an allele of dihydroflavonol 4-reductase (dfr) that cosegregates with the ability of potato (Solanum tuberosum L) to produce red pelargonidin-based anthocyanin pigments. A rapid assay to assess dosage of this allele in cultivated potato, an autotetraploid, would be useful for breeding programs that develop red-skinned cultivars. To identify regions of dfr that are conserved between alleles, as well as regions that are variable, a portion of the gene was sequenced from several cultivated and wild potato clones. In one region the sequence of the 'red' dfr allele differed at two nucleotide positions from the three other sequence classes observed. A fluorogenic oligonucleotide probe labeled with 6-FAM was designed to anneal specifically to the red allele in this region, while a second probe labeled with VIC was designed to anneal to the 'not-red' dfr alleles. PCR primers that annealed to conserved sequences flanking the variable region were also developed. When subjected to a fluorogenic 5′ nuclease (TaqMan) allelic discrimination assay all diploid clones tested clustered into three distinct groups based on the relative amounts of FAM and VIC released. These three groups represented clones homozygous for the red allele, heterozygous for the red allele, and homozygous for the not-red allele(s). When tetraploid clones were tested they separated into five distinct clusters, three of which were shared with diploid clones. The five clusters were interpreted to represent clones quadruplex, triplex, duplex, simplex and nulliplex for the red dfr allele. This interpretation was supported by monitoring the segregation of red allele dosage in several tetraploid crosses. To the best of our knowledge this is the first report of a fluorogenic 5′ nuclease assay being used for allelic discrimination in an autopolyploid.

Communicated by J.W. Snape