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Mol Gen Genet. 2001 Feb;264(6):871-82.

Isolation, characterization, inheritance and linkage of microsatellite DNA markers in white spruce (Picea glauca) and their usefulness in other spruce species.

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  • 1Department of Biology, Life Sciences Centre, Dalhousie University, Halifax, NS, Canada. Om.Rajora@Dal.ca


Microsatellite DNA/simple-sequence-repeat (SSR) loci were identified, isolated and characterized in white spruce (Picea glauca) by screening both a non-enriched partial genomic library and a partial genomic library enriched for (AG/TC)n-containing clones. Inheritance and linkage of polymorphic SSR loci were determined in F1 progeny of four controlled crosses. We also assessed the compatibility and usefulness of the P. glauca microsatellite DNA markers in five other Picea species. Twenty-four microsatellites were identified by sequencing 32 clones selected from screens of 5,400 clones from the two libraries. The (AG/TC)n microsatellites were the most abundant in the non-enriched library. Eight microsatellite DNA loci were of the single-copy type, and six of these were polymorphic. A total of 87 alleles were detected at the six polymorphic SSR loci in 32 P. glauca individuals drawn from several populations. The number of alleles found at these six SSR loci ranged from 2 to 22, with an average of 14.5 alleles per locus, and the observed heterozygosity ranged from 0.48 to 0.91, with a mean of 0.66 per locus. Parents of the controlled crosses were polymorphic for five of the six polymorphic SSR loci. Microsatellite DNA variants at each of these five SSR loci followed a single-locus, codominant, Mendelian inheritance pattern. Joint two-locus segregation tests indicated complete linkage between PGL13 and PGL14, and no linkage between any of the remaining SSR loci. Each of the 32 P. glauca individuals examined had unique single or two-locus genotypes. With the exception of non-amplification of PGL12 in P. sitchensis, P. mariana, and P. abies and the monomorphic nature of PGL7 in P. mariana, primer pairs for all six polymorphic SSR loci successfully amplified specific fragments from genomic DNA and resolved polymorphic microsatellites of comparable sizes in P. engelmanni, P. sitchensis, P. mariana, P. rubens, and P. abies. The closely related species P. mariana and P. rubens, and P. glauca and P. sitchensiss could be distinguished by the PGL12 SSR marker. The microsatellite DNA markers developed and reported here could be used for assisting various genetics, breeding, biotechnology, tree forensics, genome mapping, conservation, restoration, and sustainable forest management programs in spruce species.

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