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Mol Genet Genomics. 2015 Feb;290(1):225-37. doi: 10.1007/s00438-014-0914-5. Epub 2014 Sep 13.

Prediction of retrotransposons and assessment of genetic variability based on developed retrotransposon-based insertion polymorphism (RBIP) markers in Pyrus L.

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Department of Horticulture, The State Agricultural Ministry Key Laboratory of Horticultural Plant Growth, Development of Quality Improvement, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou, Zhejiang, 310058, China.


Interspecific hybridization has been considered the major mode of evolution in Pyrus (pear), and thus, the genetic relationships within this genus have not been well documented. Retrotransposons are ubiquitous components of plant genomes and 42.4 % of the pear genome was reported to be long terminal repeat (LTR) retrotransposons, implying that retrotransposons might be significant in the evolution of Pyrus. In this study, 1,836 putative full-length LTR retrotransposons were isolated and 196 retrotransposon-based insertion polymorphism (RBIP) primers were developed, of which 24 pairs to the Ppcr1 subfamily of copia retrotransposons were used to analyze genetic diversity among 110 Pyrus accessions from Eurasia. Our results showed that Ppcr1 replicated many times in the development of cultivated Asian pears. The genetic structure analysis and the unweighted pair group method with arithmetic mean (UPGMA) dendrogram indicated that all accessions could be divided into Oriental and Occidental groups. In Oriental pears, wild pea pears clustered separately into independent groups in accordance with their morphological classifications. Cultivars of P. ussuriensis Maxim, P. pyrifolia Nakai, and P. pyrifolia Chinese white pear were mingled together, which inferred that hybridization events occurred during the development of the cultivated Asian pears. In Occidental pears, two clades were obtained in the UPGMA dendrogram in accordance with their geographical distribution; one contained the European species and the other included species from North Africa and West Asia. New findings in this study will be important to further understand the phylogeny of Pyrus and origins of cultivated pears.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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