Plant Molecular Biology Reporter

, Volume 31, Issue 6, pp 1271–1282 | Cite as

Transferability of Newly Developed Pear SSR Markers to Other Rosaceae Species

  • L. Fan
  • M.-Y. Zhang
  • Q.-Z. Liu
  • L.-T. Li
  • Y. Song
  • L.-F. Wang
  • S.-L. Zhang
  • J. Wu
Open Access
Original Paper

Abstract

A set of 120 simple sequence repeats (SSRs) was developed from the newly assembled pear sequence and evaluated for polymorphisms in seven genotypes of pear from different genetic backgrounds. Of these, 67 (55.8 %) primer pairs produced polymorphic amplifications. Together, the 67 SSRs detected 277 alleles with an average of 4.13 per locus. Sequencing of the amplification products from randomly picked loci NAUPy31a and NAUpy53a verified the presence of the SSR loci. When the 67 primer pairs were tested on 96 individual members of eight species in the Rosaceae family, 61.2 % (41/67) of the tested SSRs successfully amplified a PCR product in at least one of the Rosaceae genera. The transferability from pear to different species varied from 58.2 % (apple) to 11.9 % (cherry). The ratio of transferability also reflected the closer relationships within Maloideae over Prunoideae. Two pear SSR markers, NAUpy43c and NAUpy55k, could distinguish the 20 different apple genotypes thoroughly, and UPGMA cluster analysis grouped them into three groups at the similarity level of 0.56. The high level of polymorphism and good transferability of pear SSRs to Rosaceae species indicate their promise for application to future molecular screening, map construction, and comparative genomic studies among pears and other Rosaceae species.

Keywords

Simple sequence repeat (SSR) Pear Rosaceae Transferability 

Introduction

Pear (Pyrus spp.), one of the oldest fruit crops in the world, belongs to the genus Pyrus, subfamily Maloideae (Pomoideae), in the family Rosaceae. Economically, pear is the third most important temperate fruit species after grape and apple, and the recent genome sequencing of the diploid P. bretschneideri Rehd. cv. Dangshansuli (Wu et al. 2013) has allowed ready access to the DNA sequence of pear. Simple sequence repeats (SSRs) or microsatellite markers are widely used due to their multi-allelic nature, reproducibility, high polymorphism, and codominant inheritance (Campoy et al. 2011; Baraket et al. 2011; Swapna et al. 2011). Markers derived from the pear genome would be significant and useful in linkage map construction, genetic polymorphism evaluation, cultivar identification, traditional crossbreeding programs, and studies of genetic variability and the diversification process (Ferreira dos Santos et al. 2011).

Rosaceae is a large plant family containing more than 3,000 species, many of which are economically important fruit trees such as apple, apricot, cherry, peach, pear and plum as well as soft fruit crops like strawberry. In addition to pear, the whole genome sequences of both apple (Velasco et al. 2010) and strawberry (Shulaev et al. 2011) have been completed, making massive genomic data of pear, apple, and strawberry in terms of molecular marker maps, expressed sequence tags (EST), and gDNA sequences readily available. However, there is rather little genomic information available for other valuable fruit tree members of the big Rosaceae family. Due to their codominant and usually single-locus nature, SSR loci can be identified, and their alleles can be recognized in different genotypes of the same species and often in those of other close relatives. This means that a specific set of SSRs can be used in different sets of genotypes or mapping populations, making them particularly useful for variability analysis, fingerprinting, molecular marker development, marker-assisted selection (MAS), map construction, and comparative studies (Mnejja et al. 2010). Therefore, it is highly valuable to investigate the transferability of SSR markers from pear, where they are easily developed and evaluated, to other Rosaceae species. Transferability to relatives contributes to the wide applicability of SSRs developed based on the pear genome. Recently, there have been several reports on the transferability of SSR markers in or across genera among Rosaceae fruit crops (Decroocq et al. 2003; Gasic et al. 2009; Gisbert et al. 2009; Sargent et al. 2009, 2007; Yamamoto et al. 2004; Yao et al. 2010; Wünsch 2009; Mnejja et al. 2010; He et al. 2011; Bouvier et al. 2012).

Comparative mapping within many plant families has been well studied, for example, in Brassicaceae, Leguminosae, Poaceae, or Solanaceae (Devos and Gale 2000; Doganlar et al. 2002; Kalo et al. 2004; Lukens et al. 2003) and allows the identification of a marker framework for map-based prediction of the location of candidate genes linked with agriculturally important traits within different species of the same family. Recently, efforts have been undertaken for genome comparisons within Rosaceae (Shulaev et al. 2008). Molecular markers have been widely applied to various aspects of research in apple and pear (Celton et al. 2009; Yamamoto et al. 2007), and SSR markers with good transferability can be applied to comparative mapping and genomic synteny between these two important fruits. Bouvier et al. (2012) discovered that a new pear scab-resistant gene, Rvp1, is located close to microsatellite marker CH02b10 from the European pear cultivar Navara maps in a genomic region syntenic to an apple scab-resistant gene cluster on linkage group 2. This genomic region is known to carry a cluster of scab-resistant genes in apple, indicating the first functional synteny for scab resistance between apple and pear. Molecular marker linkage maps of apple and Prunus have been shown to have a high level of macro-synteny (Dirlewanger et al. 2004).

The study of transferability of SSRs and EST-SSRs among Rosaceae is significant. He et al. (2011) evaluated 71 apple SSR markers distributed across 17 linkage groups and identified 39 SSRs transferable to loquats. Mnejja et al. (2010) studied a total of 145 microsatellite primer pairs from Prunus DNA sequences for transferability in a set of eight cultivars from nine rosaceous species (almond, peach, apricot, Japanese plum, European plum, cherry, apple, pear, and strawberry). Gasic et al. (2009) investigated the level of transferability of 68 apple EST-SSRs in 50 individual members of the Rosaceae family, representing three genera and 14 species. Wünsch (2009) studied 13 Prunus SSRs known to be transferable to certain Prunus species, tested them in 10 Prunus, and found that three were transferable to all and eight to all but one species. Apple EST-SSR primer pairs (94) were tested on four accessions of Pyrus to evaluate transferability, and 40 of 72 functional SSRs produced polymorphic amplicons. From these, eight SSR randomly selected loci were used to analyze genetic diversity and relationships among a collection of Pyrus and displayed reliable amplification and considerable polymorphism in both Malus and Pyrus (Yao et al. 2010). Despite this abundance of research, most previous studies about transferability are related to apple genomic SSRs or EST-SSRs, with little research on pear SSR transferability.

In this study, we present 150 pear SSRs developed from publicly available Pyrus genome sequences (Wu et al. 2013). In order to ensure the quality of the markers, all SSRs have been evaluated for polymorphisms in seven pear genotypes from different genetic backgrounds, and their transferability to 96 individual members of eight species of the Rosaceae family was studied.

Materials and Methods

Plant Material

The seven pear genotypes used in the primary evaluation of pear primers have broad genetic variation. They are Doyenne du Comice from France (P. communis L.); Housui from Japan (P. pyrifolia Nakai); Huobali from Yunnan province of China (P. pyrifolia Nakai), which is a semi-cultivated species; Kuerlexiangli from Xinjiang province of China (P. sinkiangensis Yü); Yali from Hebei province of China (P. bretschneideri Rehd.); Jingbaili from Beijing, China (P. ussuriensis Maxim.); and Bean Pear (P. calleryana) often used as rootstock. A total of 96 Rosaceae genotypes (Table 1) of eight species from seven genera and three subfamilies were used for transferability exploration; these cultivars were chosen largely based on their economic value. All the pear leaves were collected from trees located at the Pukou District pomology farm of Nanjing Agriculture University; apple, plum, peach, cherry, and apricot samples were collected from trees located at the production demonstration bases of Shangdong Institute of Pomology; strawberry leaves were picked in the greenhouse of Shangdong Agriculture University; loquat leaf tissues were collected in the loquat germplasm nursery of Suzhou Polytechnic Institute of Agriculture; and Japanese apricot leaves were collected in the Garden of Fujiabian Agricultural Technology Park in Nanjing of China.
Table 1

Plant material used for cross-species transferability in Rosaceae

Sample no.

Individuals tested

Origin

Sample no.

Individuals tested

Origin

Sample no.

Individuals tested

Origin

Prunoideae Japanese apricot (Prunus mume)

Prunoideae Cherry (Cerasus pseudocerasus)

Prunoideae Apricot (Prunus armeniaca)

1

Bungo

Japan

33

Brooks

USA

64

Zhenzhuyouxing

China

2

Xiaoyezhugan

China

34

Nanyo

Japan

65

Hongguang

China

3

Gessekai

Japan

35

Van

Canada

66

Honghebao

China

4

Shirokaga

Japan

36

Hong Deng

China

67

Katy

USA

5

Xiaoqing

China

37

Ruby

USA

68

Mono

USA

6

Ruantiaohongmei

China

Maloideae Apple (Malus x domestica)

69

Jinkaite

China

7

Nankou

Japan

38

Sekaiichi

Japan

70

Sweet Production

Unkown

8

Xiyeqing

China

39

Huaguan

China

71

Red Mingtand

Unkown

9

Oushuku

Japan

40

Zaohong

China

72

Sungold

USA

10

Nanhong

China

41

Delicious

USA

73

Yubadan

China

Prunoideae Plum (Prunus salicina)

42

Braeburn

New Zealand

Prunoideae Peach (Prunus persica)

11

Eldorda

Australia

43

Fuji

Japan

74

Beijing 9

China

12

Grandora

USA

44

Golden Delicious

USA

75

Datuanmilu

China

13

Black Amber

USA

45

Mikilifi

Japan

76

Kurakatawase

Japan

14

Bluebyrd

USA

46

Longfeng

China

77

Huayu

China

15

Methley

South Africa

47

Starking

USA

78

Hanmilu

China

16

Angeleno

USA

48

Dailv

China

79

Hakuto

Japan

17

Autumn Giant

Japan

49

Gala

New Zealand

80

Yumyong

Korea

18

Catalina

USA

50

Qinyang

China

81

Fudaotaowang

China

19

Weikeseng

China

51

HoKuto

Japan

82

Zhaoyanghong

China

20

Red Beauty

USA

52

Jonagold

USA

83

Shuguang

China

21

June Rosa

Uknown

53

Orin

Japan

84

Zaofengwang

China

22

Early Beauty

USA

54

Lujia 1

China

85

Hongjuhua

China

23

Bilvhongxin

China

55

Alps Otome

Japan

Maloideae Loquat (Eriobotrya japonica)

24

Early Beauty

USA

56

Hanfu

China

86

Zhaozhong

China

Prunoideae Cherry (Cerasus pseudocerasus)

57

Xiushui

China

87

Qingzhong

China

25

Kosmytchekaja

Ukraine

Rosoideae Strawberry (Fragaria × ananassa)

88

Guanyu

China

26

Summit

Canada

58

Meiho

Japan

89

Gaoliangjiang

China

27

Druichba

Ukraine

59

Toyonoka

Japan

90

Jidanbai

China

28

Early Ruby

Ukraine

60

Nyoho

Japan

91

Tianzhong

China

29

Tieton

USA

61

Benihoppe

Japan

92

Qianxipeiyu

China

30

Rainier

USA

62

Gongben

Japan

93

Subai 1

China

31

Earty Rilbmond

China

63

Sweet Charlie

USA

94

Shiromogi

Japan

32

Lapins

Canada

   

95

Dahongpao

China

      

96

Dazhong

China

DNA Extraction and Quality Control

Total genomic DNA of all the plants was extracted from young leaves based on the improved CTAB method (Pan et al. 2006). Subsequently, 5-μl DNA solution was loaded on 1.0 % agarose gel to check the quality.

SSR Markers of Pear Genome

A total of 120 primers (Supplemental Table 1) were developed from the pear genome sequence. All SSR markers were obtained by scanning the published pear whole genome sequencing scaffolds (Wu et al. 2013; http://peargenome.njau.edu.cn) and were assessed for their polymorphism levels in the seven pear genotypes mentioned. The SSR polymorphisms in pears were used to investigate transferability to 96 Rosaceae cultivars.

PCR and Electrophoresis

All polymerase chain reactions (PCRs) were performed in a total volume of 10 μl containing: 1 μl of 30 ng/μl genomic DNA template, 1 μl of 10 × PCR buffer (without MgCl2), 1 μl of 2.5 mM dNTP mixture, 0.6 μl of 25 mM MgCl2, 0.1 μl each of forward and reverse primer (10 pmol/μl), and 0.1 μl of 5 U/μl Taq polymerase (Takara Biotechnology Company, Dalian). The reactions were performed with the following conditions: 94 °C for 3 min, then 39 cycles of 94 °C for 40 s, 55 °C for 50 s, and 72 °C for 1 min, and a final step at 72 °C for 10 min. PCR products (10 μl) were mixed with 2.5 μl formamide loading buffer (98 % formamide, 10 mM EDTA, 0.25 % bromophenol blue, 0.25 % xylenecyanol, pH 8.0), and 1.5 μl of each mixture and a molecular size marker of 100-bp ladder, Trans DNA 2 K Marker, or pBR322 DNA-MspI Digest (Beijing BLKW Biotechnology Co., Ltd) were loaded onto an 8 % non-denaturing polyacrylamide gel in 1× TBE buffer (Tris-borate, EDTA, pH 8.0), running under a voltage of 200 V and visualized using the silver-staining protocol described by Bassam et al. (1991).

Sequencing of Three SSR Loci in Pyrus Accessions

In order to verify the presence of SSR and prove the allelic variation of the SSR loci, amplification products from two randomly picked loci (NAUPy31a and NAUpy53a) were isolated with a DNA Gel Extraction kit AxyPrep (Axygen Inc.), and the fragments were cloned into the pMD18-T vector. The fragments were sequenced by Invitrogen, Shanghai, China.

Allele Data and Statistical Analysis

Allele sizes were estimated by comparison to a 100-bp ladder marker, Trans DNA 2 K Marker, and a pBR322 DNA-MspI Digest (Beijing BLKW Biotechnology Co., Ltd). SSRs were scored as dominant markers: presence of a band was recorded as “1” and absence as “0.” All accessions were analyzed as a single population. The observed number of alleles (Na), effective number of alleles (Ne), number of alleles, Nei’s gene diversity (h), and Shannon’s information index (I) were calculated for each locus by the program POPGENE, version 1.31 (Yang and Yeh 1993). Only reproducible bands were used to calculate the Dice’s similarity coefficients (Nei and Li 1979). The chi-square test for Hardy–Weinberg equilibrium (Phw) of primers was calculated using the POPGENE program (version 1.32), with 0.01 significance and 10,000 times simulation. An unweighted pair group method using arithmetic average (UPGMA) cluster analysis was performed based on the similarity matrix for 20 apple individuals using the NTSYS-pc program (Version 2.2j) (Rohlf 1998).

Results and Discussion

Polymorphism of SSR Markers

In total, 67 of 120 (55.8 %) SSRs produced amplifications in the seven pear genotypes (Doyenne du Comice, Housui, Huobali, Kuerlexiangli, Bean Pear, Yali, and Jingbaili). In general, the SSR markers produced high-quality banding patterns (Fig. 1), most of them giving product sizes ranging from 90 to 280 bp (Table 2). The 67 SSRs detected 294 alleles with an average of 4.1 per locus; the observed number of alleles (Na) ranged from 1.57 to 2.00, with an average value of 1.89; the effective number of alleles (Ne) ranged from 1.19 to 1.88, with a mean level of 1.51; Nei’s gene diversity (h) ranged from 0.12 to 0.46, with a mean level of 0.31; and Shannon’s information index (I) varied from 0.17 to 0.65, with an average value of 0.46. High-quality NTSYS analysis of the genetic distance among the seven genotypes according to the 67 SSRs gave distance values ranging from 0.2426 (Huobali and Kuerlexiangli) to 1.0119 (Jingbaili and Bean Pear), with an average of 0.69, indicating a high level of genetic diversity among the seven pear individuals, suggesting a good applicability of these markers to germplasm diversity research. Consequently, we picked these 67 pear SSRs for further transferability exploration across Rosaceae. Excepting their high quality, these 67 SSRs were chosen because almost all primers produced clear bands in all seven pear genotypes representing different pear classes, suggesting that primer sites in the genome are well conserved. This indicates the larger possibility of successful transferability to other Rosaceae species.
Fig. 1

Amplification of six SSRs, namely, NAUpy81c, NAUpy85c, NAUpy86c, NAUpy87c, NAUpy89c, and NAUpy06d, in seven pear genotypes. Lanes: M1 100-bp ladder DNA marker, 1 Doyenne du Comice, 2 Housui, 3 Huobali, 4 Kuerlexiangli, 5 Bean Pear, 6 Yali, 7 Jingbaili

Table 2

Parameter values of 67 SSR polymorphisms in seven pear genotypes

SSR locus

Size ranged in pears (bp)

Number of alleles

na

ne

h

I

NAUpy35c

130–160

6

1.86

1.37

0.25

0.40

NAUpy91b

130–160

4

1.86

1.67

0.36

0.53

NAUpy74v

110–115

5

1.29

1.20

0.12

0.17

NAUpy23f

147–230

4

2.00

1.44

0.29

0.46

NAUpy74f

110–125

3

2.00

1.44

0.28

0.44

NAUpy39h

100–110

5

2.00

1.19

0.16

0.30

NAUpy92a

125–190

4

2.00

1.70

0.40

0.59

NAUpy46k

125–190

5

2.00

1.19

0.16

0.30

NAUpy55k

150–166

3

2.00

1.51

0.32

0.50

NAUpy92e

200–210

5

2.00

1.31

0.23

0.38

NAUpy22c

210–280

2

2.00

1.80

0.43

0.62

NAUpy24c

180–230

5

2.00

1.83

0.45

0.64

NAUpy53a

180–200

3

1.86

1.45

0.28

0.43

NAUpy86n

220–260

4

2.00

1.44

0.29

0.46

NAUpy32c

150–180

4

2.00

1.63

0.37

0.56

NAUpy38c

120–160

5

2.00

1.41

0.27

0.44

NAUpy27c

100–200

4

1.86

1.37

0.25

0.40

NAUpy31a

180–240

4

1.71

1.34

0.22

0.34

NAUpy38e

90–120

2

1.86

1.38

0.25

0.39

NAUpy86c

200–210

2

2.00

1.66

0.37

0.55

NAUpy87c

150–160

5

2.00

1.50

0.33

0.51

NAUpy85d

140–200

4

1.71

1.51

0.28

0.41

NAUpy68n

110–160

3

2.00

1.81

0.44

0.63

NAUpy02z

160–190

3

1.57

1.40

0.24

0.35

NAUpy80k

120–200

4

2.00

1.63

0.38

0.57

NAUpy87d

190–210

5

1.71

1.37

0.23

0.35

NAUpy43c

140–160

5

1.43

1.41

0.21

0.29

NAUpy60e

100–110

6

1.57

1.40

0.24

0.35

NAUpy75t

95–180

4

2.00

1.73

0.41

0.60

NAUpy91t

110–150

4

2.00

1.69

0.40

0.59

NAUpy88x

120–200

2

1.86

1.62

0.35

0.50

NAUpy67t

90–120

3

2.00

1.52

0.32

0.50

NAUpy98x

100–150

3

2.00

1.88

0.46

0.65

NAUpy36t

100–150

3

1.71

1.46

0.27

0.40

NAUpy30u

180–260

4

1.86

1.59

0.34

0.50

NAUpy62u

180–220

4

2.00

1.49

0.33

0.51

NAUpy43w

90–110

4

1.71

1.61

0.32

0.46

NAUpy40c

220–250

4

2.00

1.66

0.37

0.55

NAUpy85c

110–170

4

2.00

1.70

0.39

0.57

NAUpy89c

150–160

4

1.86

1.37

0.26

0.41

NAUpy94x

160–180

3

1.86

1.53

0.32

0.47

NAUpy23d

160–180

2

1.86

1.53

0.32

0.47

NAUpy07u

180–210

4

2.00

1.59

0.36

0.54

NAUpy35v

130–150

4

2.00

1.48

0.31

0.48

NAUpy92x

110–120

4

1.71

1.39

0.24

0.37

NAUpy81m

140–150

4

1.57

1.40

0.24

0.35

NAUpy71v

120–135

4

2.00

1.63

0.37

0.56

NAUpy48t

130–160

4

2.00

1.50

0.33

0.51

NAUpy29u

130–160

4

1.57

1.47

0.25

0.36

NAUpy41v

130–150

4

1.86

1.43

0.28

0.43

NAUpy33v

110–140

3

2.00

1.49

0.33

0.51

NAUpy13d

120–140

4

1.86

1.37

0.25

0.40

NAUpy85x

120–155

6

1.86

1.57

0.34

0.50

NAUpy98s

160–200

6

2.00

1.75

0.43

0.62

NAUpy28d

170–210

4

1.71

1.51

0.30

0.43

NAUpy31t

100–150

6

1.71

1.51

0.30

0.43

NAUpy66w

100–120

4

1.71

1.46

0.27

0.40

NAUpy30d

200–220

6

2.00

1.51

0.33

0.51

NAUpy90w

180–240

6

2.00

1.31

0.23

0.38

NAUpy73m

110–130

4

2.00

1.36

0.26

0.42

NAUpy35d

150–160

3

2.00

1.31

0.23

0.38

NAUpy30c

220–250

6

2.00

1.48

0.31

0.47

NAUpy06z

120–200

4

2.00

1.66

0.38

0.56

NAUpy06d

200–220

6

2.00

1.54

0.34

0.52

NAUpy58t

130–150

6

2.00

1.48

0.31

0.48

NAUpy45f

120–170

5

2.00

1.44

0.29

0.46

NAUpy56h

170–200

4

2.00

1.51

0.32

0.50

Average

 

4.14

1.89

1.51

0.31

0.46

Observed sizes—size range on 8 % high-resolution non-denaturing polyacrylamide gel. Number of alleles—total numbers observed in seven pear genotypes

na observed number of alleles, ne effective number of alleles [Kimura and Crow (1964)], h Nei’s (1973) gene diversity, I Shannon’s information index [Lewontin (1972)]

Sequencing Results of Two SSR Loci in Pyrus Accessions

The sequencing and alignment of SSR alleles derived from pears verified the presence of the SSR loci and revealed a high degree of conservation of SSR flanking regions in two loci (Fig. 2). The sequencing results showed a diversity of alleles in both loci. TA-repeats of allelic variation were detected for NAUPy31, and CT-repeats of allelic variation were detected for NAUpy53a (Fig. 2). The allelic diversity was mainly due to length variations of the microsatellite repeats, combined with point mutation events within the flanking regions. These variations may contribute to the formation of pear germplasm diversity.
Fig. 2

DNAMAN alignment of sequences obtained from selected PCR bands amplified by primer pairs NAUPy31a and NAUpy53a in pears. 12 bands of different sizes; TA-repeat and CT-repeat differences within the fragments are shown highlighted in blue

Transferability to Other Species in Rosaceae

A set of 67 selected SSR (Table 2) polymorphisms in seven pear genotypes was evaluated using genomic DNA of 96 genotypes belonging to seven genera in Rosaceae, including Prunus (10 Prunus mume and 14 P. salicina), Armeniaca (8 accessions), Cerasus (13 accessions), Amygdalus (12 accessions), Fragaria (6 accessions), Malus (20 accessions), and Eriobotrya (11 accessions). Prunus, Armeniaca, Cerasus, and Amygdalus belong to Prunoideae, Fragaria belongs to Rosoideae, and Malus and Eriobotrya belong to Maloideae (Table 1). Overall, 61.2 % (41/67) of the tested SSRs successfully amplified at least one PCR product of the approximate size expected for a homologous gene in at least one of the Rosaceae genera screened (Table 3; Fig. 3). This result (61.2 %) was lower than the 75 % achieved from apple EST-SSRs to other Rosaceae (Gasic et al. 2009). The most likely reason was that, compared to genomic SSRs, in theory, EST-SSRs have higher transferability because the EST-derived microsatellites are within transcribed regions of the DNA and are expected to be more conserved and less polymorphic than genomic SSR markers. However, the apple EST-SSRs to other Rosaceae had a lack of polymorphism, which is in agreement with the theory that genomic SSRs have a lower transferability but a better polymorphism. The good polymorphism characteristics of the transferable pear genomic SSRs in this study would be more valuable in application to Rosaceae genomic studies.
Table 3

Transferability of pear SSRs to other Rosaceae fruit crops

SSR locus

Number of accessions in which an SSR was amplified

Total

Japanese apricot

Plum

Cherry

Apple

Strawberry

Apricot

Peach

Loquat

NAUpy22c

3/10

0/14

0/13

16/20

0/6

0/10

0/12

7/11

26/96

NAUpy24c

0/10

0/14

4/13

20/20

0/6

2/10

8/12

4/11

38/96

NAUpy32c

0/10

0/14

0/13

1/20

0/6

0/10

0/12

0/11

1/96

NAUpy38c

0/10

0/14

0/13

3/20

0/6

0/10

0/12

0/11

3/96

NAUpy40c

0/10

1/14

0/13

7/20

0/6

0/10

0/12

0/11

8/96

NAUpy43c

0/10

0/14

0/13

15/20

0/6

0/10

0/12

4/11

19/96

NAUpy86c

0/10

0/14

0/13

7/20

0/6

0/10

0/12

0/11

7/96

NAUpy87c

6/10

5/14

7/13

2/20

0/6

0/10

0/12

0/11

20/96

NAUpy89c

10/10

11/14

10/13

15/20

0/6

0/10

0/12

0/11

46/96

NAUpy27c

0/10

0/14

0/13

11/20

0/6

0/10

0/12

1/11

12/96

NAUpy91b

0/10

0/14

0/13

13/20

0/6

0/10

0/12

0/11

13/96

NAUpy85d

1/10

0/14

0/13

10/20

0/6

1/10

0/12

1/11

13/96

NAUpy87d

3/10

4/14

3/13

4/20

0/6

0/10

0/12

0/11

14/96

NAUpy46k

0/10

1/14

0/13

6/20

0/6

0/10

0/12

0/11

7/96

NAUpy55k

1/10

1/14

1/13

16/20

0/6

0/10

0/12

5/11

24/96

NAUpy80k

0/10

0/14

0/13

11/20

0/6

1/10

1/12

7/11

20/96

NAUpy81m

0/10

1/14

0/13

8/20

0/6

0/10

0/12

0/11

9/96

NAUpy86n

0/10

0/14

0/13

7/20

0/6

5/10

3/12

1/11

16/96

NAUpy98s

0/10

0/14

0/13

9/20

0/6

3/10

1/12

4/11

17/96

NAUpy36t

0/10

0/14

0/13

8/20

0/6

0/10

0/12

3/11

11/96

NAUpy48t

1/10

0/14

0/13

7/20

0/6

0/10

0/12

0/11

8/96

NAUpy58t

2/10

0/14

0/13

4/20

0/6

0/10

0/12

0/11

6/96

NAUpy67t

2/10

2/14

5/13

20/20

3/6

10/10

11/12

8/11

61/96

NAUpy91t

0/10

0/14

0/13

10/20

0/6

5/10

5/12

1/11

21/96

NAUpy07u

0/10

7/14

4/13

20/20

0/6

0/10

0/12

0/11

31/96

NAUpy30u

0/10

0/14

0/13

0/20

0/6

0/10

0/12

7/11

7/96

NAUpy62u

0/10

0/14

0/13

7/20

0/6

0/10

0/12

2/11

9/96

NAUpy33v

0/10

0/14

0/13

0/20

0/6

0/10

0/12

3/11

3/96

NAUpy35v

3/10

5/14

1/13

12/20

0/6

0/10

0/12

0/11

21/96

NAUpy41v

0/10

0/14

0/13

3/20

0/6

0/10

0/12

0/11

3/96

NAUpy74v

0/10

0/14

0/13

10/20

0/6

0/10

0/12

8/11

18/96

NAUpy43w

0/10

0/14

0/13

7/20

0/6

0/10

0/12

0/11

7/96

NAUpy94x

0/10

0/14

0/13

3/20

0/6

0/10

0/12

0/11

3/96

NAUpy92a

0/10

0/14

0/13

10/20

0/6

0/10

3/12

0/11

13/96

NAUpy31a

0/10

0/14

0/13

2/20

0/6

0/10

0/12

0/11

2/96

NAUpy74f

0/10

0/14

0/13

4/20

0/6

0/10

0/12

0/11

4/96

NAUpy23f

3/10

0/14

0/13

6/20

0/6

5/10

5/12

4/11

23/96

NAUpy45f

0/10

0/14

0/13

10/20

0/6

0/10

0/12

3/11

13/96

NAUpy39h

0/10

0/14

0/13

4/20

0/6

0/10

0/12

0/11

4/96

NAUpy56h

0/10

0/14

0/13

19/20

0/6

0/10

0/12

0/11

19/96

NAUpy38e

0/10

0/14

0/13

10/20

0/6

4/10

6/12

2/11

22/96

Number of transferable SSRs

11/67

10/67

8/67

39/67

1/67

9/67

9/67

22/67

41/67

Percentage (%)

16.4

14.9

11.9

58.2

1.5

13.4

13.4

32.8

61.2

Number of transferable SSRs—number of SSR markers that successfully amplified in at least one Rosaceae cultivar; the SSRs whose products amplified in Rosaceae crops ranged from 90 to 280 bp were considered to be transferable, and those beyond this range were not recorded in this table

Fig. 3

Amplification of pear SSR marker NAUpy98s in Rosacea accessions; numbers in lanes are the same as Table 1; 110 Japanese apricot, 1124 plum, 2537 cherry, 3857 apple, 5863 strawberry, 6473 apricot, 7485 peach, 8696 loquat, M3 Trans DNA 2 K Marker

The highest transferability, 58.2 % (Table 3), was observed in the closely related apple (Malus domestica), in which the majority of pear SSRs are polymorphic (Supplemental Fig. 1) and had amplification patterns similar to those observed in pear. This indicates that primer binding sites between these two closely related rosaceous genera, Malus and Pyrus, are fairly well conserved (Table 3; Supplemental Fig. 1). This high level of transferability of SSRs was consistent with genome comparison of pear and apple (Wu et al. 2013) and was also similar to previous findings where apple SSRs have been reported capable of identifying polymorphism and detecting genetic diversity in pear (Yamamoto et al. 2001, 2004). Besides, Gasic et al. (2009) reported high transferability (59 %) of apple EST-SSRs to pear, and both Pieratoni et al. (2004) and Yamamoto et al. (2004) have reported amplification of apple SSRs in pear populations. Yao et al. (2010) tested 94 primer pairs on four accessions of Pyrus to evaluate the transferability of the markers, and 40 of 72 functional SSRs produced polymorphic amplicons. All of the above indicates that pear has close synteny with apple.

Two SSR loci, NAUpy43c and NAUpy55k, were then employed to analyze genetic diversity and relationship among a collection of 20 genotypes of apple. The two SSR loci could distinguish the 20 apple individuals and have detected 9 alleles (Table 4), and UPGMA cluster analysis grouped these individuals into three groups at the similarity level of 0.56 (Fig. 4). Based on the polymorphism revealed by the two SSR markers NAUpy43c and NAUpy55k, the cluster results largely agree with the traditional taxonomy based on pedigrees or geographic origins. The first group consisted of Longfeng and Xiushui: Longfeng was the progeny of Jinhong and Bailong, and Xiushui was a seedling of Ralls. The second group included Braeburn, Orin, Dailv, Qinyang, Lujia 1, Golden Delicious, and Starking, also called the Golden Delicious class. Among them, Dailv, a seedling of Golden Delicious, and Orin, whose female parent was Golden Delicious, were well known, and they belong to the Golden Delicious class. Lujia 1 has a close relationship with Starking, and Braeburn originated from New Zealand and was the progeny of Lady Hamilton and Granny Smith. Sekaiichi, Huaguan, Zaohong, Delicious, Fuji, Mikilifi, Gala, HoKuto, Jonagold, Alps Otome, and Hanfu formed the third group, also called the Delicious class. According to the pedigrees, Jonagold belongs to the Jonathan lineage, Mikilifi belongs to the Summer Pearmain lineage, and Sekaiichi, Huaguan, Zaohong, Fuji, Gala, HoKuto, Alps Otome, and Hanfu all have relationships with Delicious. In the third group, Fuji is the parent of HoKuto, Alps Otome, Hanfu, and Huaguan. Excepting Alps Otome, the other three cultivars grouped with Fuji together with Mikilifi with a similarity coefficient value of 0.78. These results were consistent with previous classifications (Zhang et al. 2012; Potts et al. 2012; Reim et al. 2012), indicating the good quality and usefulness of the two pear SSR loci in apple germplasm evaluation. In brief, SSR markers developed from pear showed high transferability in apple and can be valuable for application in germplasm evaluation and genetic relationship analysis of apple, as well as comparative mapping between pear and apple.
Table 4

Data of the SSR fingerprint bands with two pear primers amplified among 20 apple genotypes

SSR locus

Band no.

Apple cultivars (sample no.)

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

10

11

12

13

14

15

16

17

18

19

20

NAUpy43c

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

0

1

0

1

0

1

0

0

1

1

0

1

1

0

2

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

1

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

3

1

0

0

0

1

1

0

1

0

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

0

1

0

0

NAUpy55k

1

0

1

0

0

1

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

1

0

1

1

1

1

0

0

2

1

0

0

1

0

1

0

1

0

0

0

0

0

1

1

0

0

1

1

0

3

0

0

0

0

1

1

1

1

0

1

1

0

1

1

0

1

1

0

1

0

4

0

0

0

0

0

1

0

0

1

0

0

1

0

0

1

0

0

0

0

1

5

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

1

1

1

1

1

0

1

1

0

1

0

6

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

1

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

1

1 presence of band, 0 absence of band; sample no.: 1 Sekaiichi, 2 Huaguan, 3 Zaohong, 4 Delicious, 5 Braeburn, 6 Fuji, 7 Golden Delicious, 8 Mikilifi, 9 Longfeng, 10 Starking, 11 Dailv, 12 Gala, 13 Qinyang, 14 HoKuto, 15 Jonagold, 16 Orin, 17 Lujia 1, 18 Alps Otome, 19 Hanfu, 20 Xiushui

Fig. 4

UPGMA dendrogram of Malus accessions based on Dice’s similarity coefficient (Nei and Li 1979) according to pear SSR markers NAUpy43c and NAUpy55k

Loquat (Eriobotrya japonica), a subtropical evergreen fruit tree belonging to the Rosaceae subfamily Maloideae that also contains apple and pear, ranked in second place with a transferability of 32.8 %. The pedigrees of the majority of loquat cultivars are historically unknown, and the current system used for cultivar classification gives little information on genetic identity and variability, as it is mainly based on morphological traits linked to ecotype, flesh color, fruit shape, usage, and ripening time (Martínez-Calvo et al. 2008). Genetic diversity and the relationships among different cultivars of loquat are of great importance for the conservation of genetic resources, breeding initiatives, and national and international exchanges of materials (He et al. 2011). The loquat genome has not been sequenced, and only a small number of molecular markers of loquat are available, but this number can be increased by identifying pear SSRs that are transferable to loquat cultivars/accessions. In this study, 22 SSRs from pear were successfully transferred to loquat (Table 3; Fig. 3), which will provide new insight into the level of genetic diversity within loquat and synteny with pear. In previous research, apple SSRs had been transferred and applied in loquat. Soriano et al. (2005) used 30 SSRs from apple to assay the genetic relationships in loquat, 13 of which amplified polymorphic products and distinguished 34 of the 40 loquat accessions originating from different European countries. He et al. (2011) also identified 39 SSRs from apple that could be transferred to loquat. The pear SSRs transferred to loquat could be applied as new SSR markers in loquat for genetic research, such as map construction and comparison, resource assessment, and molecular breeding.

Transferability of pear SSRs to the Prunoideae members was at an analogous level: Japanese apricot 18.3 %, plum 16.9 %, cherry 15.5 %, apricot 12.7 %, and peach 14.1 %, indicating that these Prunoideae stone fruits have homology regions with the pear genome. In addition, the Prunoideae species shared most of the same amplified markers (Table 3), indicating that they have a close genetic relationship within themselves, which largely agrees with the traditional taxonomy. The SSRs transferred to Prunoideae successfully were polymorphic and produced special band patterns in the Prunoideae (Fig. 3), suggesting application of these SSRs as valuable tools for comparative mapping and genetic diversity analysis. Gasic et al. (2009) surveyed the transferability of apple EST-SSRs to Prunoideae and showed that the frequency of transferability ranged from 25 % in the subgenus Armeniaca to 38 % in the subgenus Amygdalus. Apple EST-SSRs were successfully amplified in 14 members of the subgenus Prunophora, represented by apricot and European and Japanese plums, with an average of 40 %, with the highest frequency of transferability (35 %) observed for Japanese plum. Substantial transferability of apple EST-SSR to peach, apricot, and European plum was also noted at 37, 25, and 29 %, respectively. The value of apple EST-SSR to Prunoideae members was much higher than that observed in this study, likely suggesting the higher conservation of EST regions used for marker development. Vendramin et al. (2007) studied a set of EST-SSRs isolated from the peach fruit transcriptome and their transportability across Prunus species. Apricot genomic SSRs showed considerable transferability, 20 %, in all Prunus species, but failed to amplify in apple (Messina et al. 2004). Mnejja et al. (2010) studied the transferability of 145 Prunus microsatellite markers across a set of eight cultivars from nine rosaceous species (almond, peach, apricot, Japanese plum, European plum, cherry, apple, pear, and strawberry). Of these, 16.6 % were transferable in pear, and the polymorphism of Prunus microsatellites was also detected at a low level. In this study, the transferability of pear SSRs to Prunus, 38 % (27/71) in total (Table 3), is higher than the above, and some displayed variable band types (Fig. 3); thus, they can play an important role in the genetic study of Prunus or related species. In contrast, Wünsch (2009) studied 13 Prunus SSRs known to be transferable to certain Prunus species, tested them in 10 Prunus, and found that three were transferable to all of them and eight to all but one species. Prunus SSRs (63.9 %) were transferable to other Prunus crops (Mnejja et al. 2010), overall showing a higher level of transferability to close species. Most pear SSRs transferred to Prunus detected only a single band and had a lack of polymorphism (Fig. 3), but their transferability indicates some extent of genomic collineation between pear and Prunus.

Only a few SSR primers were amplified (1.4 %) among six strawberry cultivars. Unlike other Rosaceae family crops such as apple and peach, the strawberry is considered to be non-climacteric because the flesh does not ripen in response to ethylene. Genomically, strawberry genus has a small basic (x = 7) genome size of ~240 Mb, while the cultivated F. ×ananassa is among the most complex of crop plants, harboring eight sets of chromosomes (2n = 8x = 56) derived from as many as four different diploid ancestors (Shulaev et al. 2011). Other research about transferability to strawberry found that only 12 of 145 Prunus SSR loci (8.3 %) tested were polymorphic in strawberry (Mnejja et al. 2010). This indicates that the strawberry has a comparatively more distant relationship with pear than other Rosaceae fruit trees, which is consistent with the divergent relationship of pear, apple, and strawberry based on whole genome comparison (Wu et al. 2013). However, Gasic et al. (2009) reported good transferability of EST-SSRs (49 %) from apple to strawberry. In addition, Zorrilla-Fontanesithe et al. (2011) investigated the transferability of 174 Fragaria SSRs to rose and raspberry, with the data ranging from 28.7 % for genic SSRs in rose to 16.1 % for genomic SSRs in raspberry. Collinearity analysis between pear and two other sequenced rosaceous species, apple and strawberry, has revealed that they share the same ancestor, but unlike pear and apple, strawberry did not have a whole genome duplication event (Wu et al. 2013). So, the higher transferability of EST-SSR over genomic SSRs within species also reveals the common ancestral origins with differential genome evolution. In addition, the level of polymorphism of an SSR marker seems to greatly depend on the germplasm on which it is tested. Thus, more exploration such as sequence comparison should be done to study the genetic relationship between pear and strawberry.

Conclusion

The SSR markers in this study displayed a high level of polymorphism in pears, suggesting valuable applications of these markers in future pear linkage map construction, genetic polymorphism evaluation, cultivar identification, and MAS. As useful PCR-based genetic markers, the pear SSRs can be applied to these various aspects of genetic research not only for Pyrus, but also for other members of Rosaceae. Our results reveal a relatively high level of transferability between pear and several other Rosaceae species, which means an increased number of SSR markers available for Rosaceae crops, which is particularly of value for those species with little genomic information. Most of the pear SSRs presented diversity when assessed in other Rosaceae species, implying that they will be significant for genetic research. Besides this, when mapped, these markers can be used for conducting macro-synteny studies among Rosaceae species to better understand genome organization and evolutionary relationships in this important fruit family. The transferability to each Rosaceae species was largely related to their consanguinity with pear, demonstrating the applicability of pear SSRs in phylogenetic and evolutionary studies of the Rosaceae family. Overall, these findings suggest that the high level of polymorphism and good transferability of pear SSRs result in their promise for wide use in QTL mapping, molecular breeding, investigation of population genetic diversity, comparative mapping, and evolutionary studies among pears and other Rosaceae species.

Notes

Acknowledgments

This work was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (31171928), the National Public Benefit (Agricultural) Research Foundation of China (200903044), and the Earmarked Fund for China Agriculture Research System (CARS-29).

Supplementary material

11105_2013_586_MOESM1_ESM.doc (648 kb)
ESM 1(DOC 647 kb)

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© The Author(s) 2013

Open Access This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits any use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author(s) and the source are credited.

Authors and Affiliations

  • L. Fan
    • 1
  • M.-Y. Zhang
    • 1
  • Q.-Z. Liu
    • 2
  • L.-T. Li
    • 1
  • Y. Song
    • 1
  • L.-F. Wang
    • 1
  • S.-L. Zhang
    • 1
  • J. Wu
    • 1
  1. 1.Centre of Pear Engineering Technology Research, State Key Laboratory of Crop Genetics and Germplasm EnhancementNanjing Agricultural UniversityNanjingChina
  2. 2.Key Laboratory for Fruit Biotechnology Breeding of ShandongPomological Institute of ShandongTaianChina

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