RAPD and RFLP markers tightly linked to the locus controlling carnation (Dianthus caryophyllus) flower type
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Flower doubleness as a breeding characteristic is of major importance in carnation (Dianthus caryophyllus), one of the major cut-flowers sold worldwide, since flower architecture is of the utmost value in ornamentals. Based on the number of petals per flower, carnations are grouped into “single”, “semi-double” and “double” flower types. The first have five petals and are easily distinguishable, but of no economic value to the carnation industry. Flowers of standard and spray varieties, which constitute the largest market share, are usually of the double and semi-double type, respectively. These flower types are not easily distinguishable due to phenotypic overlaps caused by environmental conditions. To study the inheritance of this trait, several progeny segregating for flower type were prepared. Based on the number of single-flower type fullsibs among the offspring, we found that this phenotype is expressed only in plants homozygous for the recessive allele and that a dominant mutation in this allele causes an increase in petal number. Using random decamer primers, we identified a random amplified polymorphic DNA (RAPD) marker which is tightly linked to this recessive allele. The RAPD marker was cloned and used to generate a restriction fragment length polymorphic (RFLP) marker. This RFLP marker could discriminate with 100% accuracy between the semi-double and double- flower phenotypes in carnations of both Mediterranean and American groups. The advantages of RFLP over RAPD markers and their applicability to markerassisted selection in carnation are discussed.
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