Characterization of highly conserved microsatellite loci in Araucaria cunninghamii and related species
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Ten microsatellite loci are described in Araucaria cunninghamii, the first reported in the Araucariaceae. Eight were tested in sections Eutacta and Bunya, which diverged more than 200 MYA, and to the sister genus Agathis. Specific amplification products within the expected size range were obtained for six to eight loci in section Eutacta (depending on species), five loci in section Bunya and three loci in Agathis. Two of the loci (CRCAc1 and CRCAc2, both GA repeats) produced specific amplification products in all taxa, with orthology confirmed by sequence analysis. The repeats were perfect in all taxa. The flanking sequences were extremely conserved, with sequence divergence of 0% to 2.0% within Araucaria species and 2.9% to 7.5% between Araucaria and Agathis. These microsatellites represent some of the most conserved microsatellite loci reported in plants. This may be due to a low evolutionary rate in Araucariaceae genome or the loci may be closely associated with highly conserved, unreported genes.
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