, Volume 119, Issue 7, pp 1213-1222
Date: 13 Aug 2009

Molecular markers for establishing distinctness in vegetatively propagated crops: a case study in grapevine

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Distinctness, uniformity and stability (DUS) testing of varieties is usually required to apply for Plant Breeders’ Rights. This exam is currently carried out using morphological traits, where the establishment of distinctness through a minimum distance is the key issue. In this study, the possibility of using microsatellite markers for establishing the minimum distance in a vegetatively propagated crop (grapevine) has been evaluated. A collection of 991 accessions have been studied with nine microsatellite markers and pair-wise compared, and the highest intra-variety distance and the lowest inter-variety distance determined. The collection included 489 different genotypes, and synonyms and sports. Average values for number of alleles per locus (19), Polymorphic Information Content (0.764) and heterozygosities observed (0.773) and expected (0.785) indicated the high level of polymorphism existing in grapevine. The maximum intra-variety variability found was one allele between two accessions of the same variety, of a total of 3,171 pair-wise comparisons. The minimum inter-variety variability found was two alleles between two pairs of varieties, of a total of 119,316 pair-wise comparisons. In base to these results, the minimum distance required to set distinctness in grapevine with the nine microsatellite markers used could be established in two alleles. General rules for the use of the system as a support for establishing distinctness in vegetatively propagated crops are discussed.

Communicated by F. Ordon.