Theoretical and Applied Genetics

, Volume 108, Issue 5, pp 896–902 | Cite as

Development, characterization and variability analysis of microsatellites in lychee (Litchi chinensis Sonn., Sapindaceae)

Original Paper


We report 12 microsatellites enriched in CT repeats obtained from a genomic library of the lychee (Litchi chinensis Sonn.) cultivar Mauritius. The polymorphisms revealed by these microsatellites were evaluated in a collection of 21 lychee cultivars. A total of 59 fragments were detected with these 12 SSRs, with an average of 4.9 bands/SSR. Three primer pairs seem to amplify more than a single locus. The mean expected and observed heterozygosities over the 9 single-locus SSRs averaged 0.571 (range: 0.137–0.864) and 0.558 (range: 0.169–0.779) respectively. The total value for the probability of identity was 7.53×10-5. In addition, the selected SSRs were used to amplify DNA from four longan cultivars. Eleven of the 12 SSRs produced amplification fragments in longan, and eight of these fragments were polymorphic. All except two of the products amplified from longan were the same size as those amplified from lychee, suggesting a close genetic proximity between the two species. The SSRs studied produced 22 different patterns, allowing the unambiguous identification of 16 lychee and the 4 longan cultivars studied. Discrimination was possible with just four selected microsatellites. Two groups with two and three undistinguishable cultivars were obtained, reflecting probable synonymies. Unweighted pair-group method of artimetic averages (UPGMA) cluster analysis divided the lychee cultivars studied into two main groups, one consisting of ancient cultivars and the other with more diverse recent cultivars. This is the first report of microsatellite development in the Sapindaceae, and the results demonstrate the usefulness of microsatellites for identification, similarity studies and germplasm conservation in lychee and related species.



We gratefully acknowledge J.M. Hermoso for valuable information on lychee germplasm. Financial support for this work was provided by MCYT (Project Grant AGL2001-2414-C04-03)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Estación Experimental la Mayora-CSICAlgarrobo-CostaSpain

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