, Volume 32, Issue 3, pp 750-760
Date: 20 Nov 2013

Transcriptome versus Genomic Microsatellite Markers: Highly Informative Multiplexes for Genotyping Abies alba Mill. and Congeneric Species

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The availability of high-resolution, cost-effective polymorphic genetic markers displaying Mendelian inheritance is a prerequisite for fine-scale population genetic analyses as well as informed conservation and sustainable management. Silver fir (Abies alba Mill.) is a widespread European species of economic and ecological importance for which genetic markers are needed but difficult to develop, as in most conifer species. In this work, we introduce two sets of new multiplexed transcriptome-derived expressed sequence tag microsatellites (EST-simple sequence repeats (SSRs)) which we compare to a set of multiplexed genomic microsatellites (gSSRs). For both marker types, transferability was tested in 17 congeneric taxa. A total of 16 new EST-SSRs and two new gSSRs were developed. The EST-SSR multiplexes produced easily scorable amplification patterns that allow rapid and cost-effective genotyping at low-error rates, and include loci that display very low null allele frequencies. Generally, EST-SSRs displayed lower polymorphism and frequency of null alleles, but higher genetic differentiation among populations than gSSRs. Preliminary tests revealed that the EST-SSR markers are highly transferable and polymorphic across Abies species. This study also confirmed that SSRs can be successfully developed using next-generation sequencing technology also in large genome species such as conifers.