Clonal diversity and genetic differentiation revealed by SSR markers in wild Vaccinium macrocarpon and Vaccinium oxycoccos.

Zalapa, J.E., Bougie, T.C., Bougie, T.A., Schlautman, B.J., Wiesman, E., Guzman, A., Fajardo, D.A., Steffan, S., and Smith, T.W. (2015). "Clonal diversity and genetic differentiation revealed by SSR markers in wild Vaccinium macrocarpon and Vaccinium oxycoccos.", Annals of Applied Biology, 166(2), pp. 196-207. doi : 10.1111/aab.12173  Access to full text

Abstract

American cranberry (Vaccinium macrocarpon) is a perennial, woody plant species, native to North American bogs and wetlands. Cranberries represent one of the few agriculturally important native plants in which wild gene pools are still readily available within the undeveloped wetlands of the northern US and Canada. Earlier studies have reported low genetic variation in V. macrocarpon at the species and population level. However, in this study, we characterised 229 individuals of wild V. macrocarpon and V. oxycoccos (small cranberry) from Wisconsin and 22 accessions using microsatellite markers and observed substantial genetic variation and differentiation within and among populations and species. While V. macrocarpon was analysed using 108 alleles from 11 microsatellite loci revealing 42 unique genotypes, V. oxycoccos was analysed using 156 alleles from eight loci revealing 28 unique genotypes. There were a total of 182 alleles found in both species combined with 156 of those alleles present in V. oxycoccos and 84 alleles found in V. macrocarpon. All eight loci possessed species-specific alleles with V. oxycoccos possessing 98 private alleles versus 26 private alleles found V. macrocarpon, and 58 alleles were found in common between both species. Our data will be valuable not only for future wild cranberry diversity and population genetics research, but for other cranberry breeding and genetics studies.

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