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Phytopathology. 2009 Mar;99(3):282-9. doi: 10.1094/PHYTO-99-3-0282.

Development and characterization of expressed sequence tag-derived microsatellite markers for the wheat stem rust fungus Puccinia graminis f. sp. tritici.

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  • 1Department of Plant Pathology, North Dakota State University, Fargo 58105, USA. shaobin.zhong@ndsu.edu


Puccinia graminis f. sp. tritici is the causal agent of stem rust disease in wheat. The rust fungus has caused devastating disease epidemics throughout history and is still posing a potential threat to wheat production in some regions of the world due to the appearance of new races. To develop microsatellite or simple sequence repeat (SSR) markers for use in population genetics studies, a total of 60,579 expressed sequence tag (EST) sequences (reads) generated from P. graminis f. sp. tritici were screened for tandemly repeated di- and tri-nucleotide units using a bioinformatics approach and 708 unisequences containing putative SSR loci with six or more repeat units were identified. Flanking primers were designed for 384 unique SSR loci, which mapped to different locations of the draft genome sequence of the fungus. Of the 384 primer pairs tested, 72 EST-SSR markers were eventually developed, which showed polymorphism among 19 isolates of P. graminis f. sp. tritici and 4 isolates of P. graminis f. sp. secalis evaluated. Thirty-two of the SSR loci were also evaluated in three other rust fungi (P. triticina, P. hordei, and P. coronata f. sp. hordei) for cross-species transferability. These SSR markers derived from ESTs will be useful for characterization of population structures and for gene mapping in P. graminis.

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