, Volume 28, Issue 4, pp 646-653
Date: 13 Mar 2010

Development of Juglans Regia SSR Markers by Data Mining of the EST Database

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Walnut (Juglans regia), an economically important woody plant, is widely cultivated in temperate regions for its timber and nutritional fruits. Despite abundant studies in germplasm, systemic molecular evaluations of walnut are sparsely reported mainly due to the limited molecular markers available. Expressed sequence tags (EST) provide a valuable resource for developing simple sequence repeat (SSR) markers. In this study, a total of 5,025 walnut ESTs (covering 16.41 Mb) were retrieved from the National Center for Biotechnology Information database. The SSR motifs were then analyzed by the SSRHunter software. In total, 398 SSRs were obtained with an average frequency of 1/4.08 kb. Dinucleotide (di-) repeat motifs accounted for 69.85% of all SSRs, followed by trinucleotide (tri-) with a frequency of 27.64%, while low frequency (2.51%) of tetranucleotide (tetra-) to hexanucleotide (hexa-) was observed. Meanwhile, GCA and TC motifs were prevalent among di- and tri- loci, respectively. Subsequently, a total of 123 primer pairs were designed from the non-redundant SSR-containing unigenes with the selection threshold of SSR length set to 10 bp or more. To examine the efficiency of candidate markers, seven DNA pools were collected from geographically different accessions. Results demonstrated that 41 SSR primer sets could generate high polymorphic amplification products (33.3%), and these polymorphic loci were mainly located in the 3′-untranslated region. Annotation analysis revealed that only two of these 41 loci were located inside open reading frames of characterized proteins (E ≤ 1E−30).