Sweet orange [Citrus sinensis (L.) Osbeck] represents the most important Citrus species, followed by clementine (C. clementina Hort. ex Tan.). Citrus species and genotypes are difficult to recognize as they have a moderate level of diversity due to nucellar selection, vegetative propagation and origin by single spontaneous mutation. Despite the large number of available sequences and the existence of a draft assembly of sweet orange and clementine, there are currently no single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) databases for Citrus species. For this purpose, the QualitySNP software was used to discover SNPs in 19 Citrus species starting from 540,000 expressed sequence tags (ESTs) assembled in 52,000 contigs. The vast majority of ESTs, contigs and SNPs were found in C. clementina and C. sinensis: 4,400 out of 16,000 contigs (27 %) of C. clementina and 4,100 out of 17,000 contigs (24 %) of C. sinensis contained putative SNPs. A total of 3,634 sequences were associated with enzymes belonging to 121 metabolic KEGG (Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes) pathways, among which the secondary metabolite pathway was the most represented. A total of 163 SNPs from 52 contigs and genes of specific functional categories were validated and 81 polymorphic sites were found. Thirty-seven selected SNPs, validated by Sanger sequencing, confirmed that polymorphisms were mainly between species, while poor within-species variability was discovered. This work provides a collection of 15,879 putative SNP markers that could be exploited by the Citrus community. Furthermore, the validated SNPs associated with specific genes could be used for functional genetic studies in germplasm diversity analysis, mapping and breeding.
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This work was supported by the following Italian Projects of the MiPAAF: RAVAGRU (Ricerche avanzate in agrumicultura e loro applicazioni) D.M. 187/7303/2007 and ESPLORA (ESPLORAzione della biodiversità vegetale ed animale alla ricerca di alleli superiori da inserire nei programmi avanzati di miglioramento genetico a sostegno dell’agricoltura nazionale) D.M. 14658/7303/2010.
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Bernardi, J., Mazza, R., Caruso, P. et al. Use of an expressed sequence tag-based method for single nucleotide polymorphism identification and discrimination of Citrus species and cultivars. Mol Breeding 31, 705–718 (2013). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11032-012-9828-2