Identification of simple sequence repeats (SSRs) in olive (Olea europaea L.)
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A small insert genomic library of Olea europaea L., highly enriched in (GA/CT)n repeats, was obtained using the procedure of Kandpal et al. (1994). The sequencing of 103 clones randomly extracted from this library allowed the identification of 56 unique genomic inserts containing simple sequence repeat regions made by at least three single repeats. A sample of 20 primer pairs out of the 42 available were tested for functionality using the six olive varieties whose DNA served for library construction. All primer pairs succeeded in amplifying at least one product from the six DNA samples, and ten pairs detecting more than one allele were used for the genetic characterisation of a panel of 20 olive accessions belonging to 16 distinct varieties. A total of 57 alleles were detected among the 20 genotypes at the ten polymorphic SSR loci. The remaining primer pair allowed the amplification of a single SSR allele for all accessions plus a longer fragment for some genotypes. Considering the simple sequence repeat polymorphism, 5.7 alleles were scored on average for each of the ten SSR loci. A genetic dissimilarity matrix, based on the proportion of shared alleles among all the pair-wise combinations of genotypes, was constructed and used to disentangle the genetic relationships among varieties by means of the UPGMA clustering algorithm. Graphical representation of the results showed the presence of two distinct clusters of varieties. The first cluster grouped the varieties cultivated on the Ionian Sea coasts. The second cluster showed two subdivisions: the first sub-cluster agglomerated the varieties from some inland areas of Calabria; the second grouped the remaining varieties from Basilicata and Apulia cultivated in nearby areas. Results of cluster analysis showed a significant relationship between the multilocus genetic similarities and the geographic origin of the cultivars.
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