Transferability and Level of Heterozygosity of Microsatellite Markers in Citrus Species
Microsatellite markers are a powerful tool for genetic studies, including germplasm conservation, cultivar identification, and integration of linkage maps. Several works have shown that primer pairs designed for one species can be used in related species to facilitate wider application because it reduces the costs for primer development. The objective of this study was to evaluate the transferability of microsatellite primers which was previously developed from the genomic library of Pêra sweet orange (Citrus sinensis L. Osbeck) and to determine the level of heterozygosity between citrus accessions and related genera. Twenty-four microsatellite loci were evaluated on 12 genotypes of Citrus, Poncirus, and an intergeneric hybrid. All analyzed markers were transferable across all genotypes. Seventeen loci were polymorphic, and the number of alleles per loci ranged from one to six. The lowest level of heterozygosity was observed for Poncirus trifoliata (L.) Raf. cultivars while the highest level was for Swingle citrumelo. In general, microsatellite markers showed wide genetic variation and demonstrated that they can be useful in citrus breeding programs.
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