Genetic structure and diversity analysis of tall fescue populations by EST-SSR and ISSR markers

  • Z. Shahabzadeh
  • R. MohammadiEmail author
  • R. Darvishzadeh
  • M. Jaffari
Original Article


Tall fescue is a perennial cool-season grass with economic importance especially in temperate regions of the northern hemisphere. This study was done to assess the genetic diversity and population structure of 90 tall fescue populations and cultivars using ISSR and EST-SSR markers in order to categorize valuable populations for breeding programs and to construct the core collection of tall fescue collection in Iran. The 10 EST-SSR primer pairs amplified 92 alleles. The allele numbers varied from 4 to 13 alleles per locus with an average of 9.2 alleles, of which 84 (90.6%) were polymorphic with an average of 8.4 polymorphic bands per primer. The 39 ISSR primers totally produced 387 scorable bands, of which 335 (86.6%) were polymorphic with an average of 8.6 polymorphic bands per primer. The amplified markers by ISSR primers varied from 6 to 14 markers per primer with an average of 9.92 markers per primer. The 90 tall fescue populations using both EST-SSR and ISSR data were classified into two clusters by UPGMA method that was coincide with PCA and structure analysis results. The turf-type and forage-type populations were clearly separated. Based on the results, the Iranian populations provide a valuable and novel germplasm to employ in tall fescue varietal improvement programs for both forage and turf-type applications. This progression is an important step to introduce this collection for development of a core collection of tall fescue germplasm in Iran.


Genetic diversity Population structure Polymorphism Plant breeding 



Inter-simple sequence repeat


Polymerase chain reaction


Expressed sequence tag-simple sequence repeat


Unweighted pair group method with arithmetic mean


Principal component analysis


Polymorphic information content


Expected heterozygosity


Number of effective alleles


Shannon’s information index


Percentage of polymorphic loci



The financial support of the Agricultural Biotechnology Research Institute of Iran (ABRII) is gratefully acknowledged.


This work was supported by the Agricultural Biotechnology Research Institute of Iran (ABRII) (Grant Numbers 12-05-05-015-96024-960689).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare no conflict of interests.

Ethical approval

No ethical issues were promulgated.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Plant Breeding and Biotechnology, Faculty of AgricultureUrmia UniversityUrmiaIran
  2. 2.Branch for Northwest & West Region, Agricultural Biotechnology Research Institute of Iran (ABRII), Agricultural Research, Education and Extension Organization (AREEO)TabrizIran

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