Prunus microsatellite marker transferability across rosaceous crops
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A total of 145 microsatellite primer pairs from Prunus DNA sequences were studied for transferability in a set of eight cultivars from nine rosaceous species (almond, peach, apricot, Japanese plum, European plum, cherry, apple, pear, and strawberry), 25 each of almond genomic, peach genomic, peach expressed sequence tags (EST), and Japanese plum genomic, 22 of almond EST, and 23 of apricot (13 EST and 10 genomic), all known to produce single-locus and polymorphic simple-sequence repeats in the species where they were developed. Most primer pairs (83.6%) amplified bands of the expected size range in other Prunus. Transferability, i.e., the proportion of microsatellites that amplified and were polymorphic, was also high in Prunus (63.9%). Almond and Japanese plum were the most variable among the diploid species (all but the hexaploid European plum) and peach the least polymorphic. Thirty-one microsatellites amplified and were polymorphic in all Prunus species studied, 12 of which, covering its whole genome, are proposed as the “universal Prunus set”. In contrast, only 16.3% were transferable in species of other Rosaceae genera (apple, pear, and strawberry). Polymorphic Prunus microsatellites also detected lower levels of variability in the non-congeneric species. No significant differences were detected in transferability and the ability to detect variability between microsatellites of EST and genomic origin.