Mapping and characterization of new EST-derived microsatellites for potato (Solanum tuberosum L.)
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Microsatellites, or simple sequence repeats (SSRs) are very useful molecular markers for a number of plant species. They are commonly used in cultivar identification, plant variety protection, as anchor markers in genetic mapping, and in marker-assisted breeding. Early development of SSRs was hampered by the high cost of library screening and clone sequencing. Currently, large public SSR datasets exist for many crop species, but the number of publicly available, mapped SSRs for potato is relatively low (similar to 100). We have utilized a database mining approach to identify SSR-containing sequences in The Institute For Genomic Research Potato Gene Index database (http://www.tigr.org), focusing on sequences with size polymorphisms present in this dataset. Ninety-four primer pairs flanking SSR sequences were synthesized and used to amplify potato DNA. This study rendered 61 useful SSRs that were located in pre-existing genetic maps, fingerprinted in a set of 30 cultivars from South America, North America, and Europe or a combination thereof. The high proportion of success (65%) of expressed sequence tag-derived SSRs obtained in this work validates the use of transcribed sequences as a source of markers. These markers will be useful for genetic mapping, taxonomic studies, marker-assisted selection, and cultivar identification.
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