Developing expressed sequence tag libraries and the discovery of simple sequence repeat markers for two species of raspberry (Rubus L.)


Abstract Background Due to a relatively high level of codominant inheritance and transferability within and among taxonomic groups, simple sequence repeat (SSR) markers are important elements in comparative mapping and delineation of genomic regions associated with traits of economic importance. Expressed sequence tags (ESTs) are a source of SSRs that can be used to develop markers to facilitate plant breeding and for more basic research across genera and higher plant orders. Methods Leaf and meristem tissue from ‘Heritage’ red raspberry (Rubus idaeus) and ‘Bristol’ black raspberry (R. occidentalis) were utilized for RNA extraction. After conversion to cDNA and library construction, ESTs were sequenced, quality verified, assembled and scanned for SSRs. Primers flanking the SSRs were designed and a subset tested for amplification, polymorphism and transferability across species. ESTs containing SSRs were functionally annotated using the GenBank non-redundant (nr) database and further classified using the gene ontology database. Results To accelerate development of EST-SSRs in the genus Rubus (Rosaceae), 1149 and 2358 cDNA sequences were generated from red raspberry and black raspberry, respectively. The cDNA sequences were screened using rigorous filtering criteria which resulted in the identification of 121 and 257 SSR loci for red and black raspberry, respectively. Primers were designed from the surrounding sequences resulting in 131 and 288 primer pairs, respectively, as some sequences contained more than one SSR locus. Sequence analysis revealed that the SSR-containing genes span a diversity of functions and share more sequence identity with strawberry genes than with other Rosaceous species. Conclusion This resource of Rubus-specific, gene-derived markers will facilitate the construction of linkage maps composed of transferable markers for studying and manipulating important traits in this economically important genus.

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