Detection of gene-anchored amplification polymorphism (GAAP) in the vicinity of plant mitochondrial genes
A simple, semi-automatable method was established for assessing polymorphism in plant mitochondrial genome. A set of 41 mitochondrial markers based on the published Arabidopsis thaliana sequence was developed in Brassicaceae using a gene-anchored amplification polymorphism (GAAP) strategy. PCR primers were selected based on conserved coding regions of mitochondrial genes and used to amplify the corresponding 5′ and/or 3′ non-coding flanking regions in order to maximise sequence variability between haplotypes. The variations in fragment size were analysed on a LiCor DNA sequencer, but the methodology is compatible with various sequencing systems using denaturing polyacrylamide gels. One advantage of the method is that GAAP products can be directly sequenced (without any cloning steps) through labelled M13 consensus sequences. Mitochondrial GAAP loci gave clear and simple patterns (one or two bands) that were easy to score and highly reproducible. Nearly all mitochondrial loci examined in A. thaliana were conserved within the Brassicaceae family, and half of the primers generated products when DNA from a distant species, Beta vulgaris (Chenopodiaceae), was used as template. The GAAP markers revealed low levels of polymorphism within species but exhibited a high level of polymorphism among genera and families. Our results showed some discrepancies with respect to the published mtDNA sequence of A. thaliana.
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