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Molecular markers in biodiversity of Vaccinium and Rubus wild germplasm.

Debnath, S.C. (2014). "Molecular markers in biodiversity of Vaccinium and Rubus wild germplasm.", Acta Horticulturae (ISHS), 1017, pp. 85-92.


Blueberry, cranberry and lingonberry are three Vaccinium fruit crops of economic importance which have been domesticated in the twentieth century. Vaccinium fruits contain relatively high levels of vitamin C, cellulose and pectin, and produce anthocyanins which have important therapeutic values, including antitumor, antiulcer, antioxidant and antiinflammatory activities. Cloudberry (Rubus chamaemorus L., family Rosaceae) is a less know small fruit of medicinal importance. There is a pressing need to develop reliable methods for identifying berry germplasm and for assessing genetic biodiversity in Vaccinium germplasm for practical breeding purposes and proprietary-rights protection. The introduction of molecular biology techniques, such as DNA-based markers, allows direct comparison of different genetic material independent of environmental influences. This paper presents the progress in-depth of various aspects of molecular diversity analyses in Vaccinium species and cloudberry wild clones and/or cultivars collected from four Canadian provinces, Europe and USA. Inter simple sequence repeat (ISSR), random amplified polymorphic DNA (RAPD) and expressed sequence tag-polymerase chain reaction (EST-PCR) markers detected a sufficient degree of polymorphism to differentiate among wild clones and cultivars, making these technologies valuable for cultivar identification and for the more efficient choice of parents in berry breeding programs. The paper also discusses the issues that still need to be addressed to utilize the full potential of molecular techniques to develop improved environmental friendly cultivars suited to the changing needs of growers and consumers.

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