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Genome. 2010 Jul;53(7):508-23. doi: 10.1139/g10-028.

Development of unigene-derived SSR markers in cowpea (Vigna unguiculata) and their transferability to other Vigna species.

Author information

1
Nuclear Agriculture and Biotechnology Division, Bhabha Atomic Research Centre, Trombay, Mumbai 400 085, India. gupta_sk@hotmail.com

Abstract

Unigene sequences available in public databases provide a cost-effective and valuable source for the development of molecular markers. In this study, the identification and development of unigene-based SSR markers in cowpea (Vigna unguiculata (L.) Walp.) is presented. A total of 1071 SSRs were identified in 15 740 cowpea unigene sequences downloaded from the National Center for Biotechnology Information. The most frequent SSR motifs present in the unigenes were trinucleotides (59.7%), followed by dinucleotides (34.8%), pentanucleotides (4%), and tetranucleotides (1.5%). The copy number varied from 6 to 33 for dinucleotide, 5 to 29 for trinucleotide, 5 to 7 for tetranucleotide, and 4 to 6 for pentanucleotide repeats. Primer pairs were successfully designed for 803 SSR motifs and 102 SSR markers were finally characterized and validated. Putative function was assigned to 64.7% of the unigene SSR markers based on significant homology to reported proteins. About 31.7% of the SSRs were present in coding sequences and 68.3% in untranslated regions of the genes. About 87% of the SSRs located in the coding sequences were trinucleotide repeats. Allelic variation at 32 SSR loci produced 98 alleles in 20 cowpea genotypes. The polymorphic information content for the SSR markers varied from 0.10 to 0.83 with an average of 0.53. These unigene SSR markers showed a high rate of transferability (88%) across other Vigna species, thereby expanding their utility. Alignment of unigene sequences with soybean genomic sequences revealed the presence of introns in amplified products of some of the SSR markers. This study presents the distribution of SSRs in the expressed portion of the cowpea genome and is the first report of the development of functional unigene-based SSR markers in cowpea. These SSR markers would play an important role in molecular mapping, comparative genomics, and marker-assisted selection strategies in cowpea and other Vigna species.

PMID:
20616873
DOI:
10.1139/g10-028
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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