CRANBERRY GENETIC IMPROVEMENT AND INSECT PEST MANAGEMENT
Location: Vegetable Crops Research Unit
Title: Measuring genetic diversity and purity of cranberry clonal cultivars using microsatellite markers
Submitted to: North American Cranberry Research and Extension Workers Annual Meeting
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: July 15, 2011
Publication Date: September 11, 2011
Citation: Zalapa, J.E., Steffan, S.A., Hummer, K.E., Bassil, N.V., Moreno, J., Zhu, H., Mccown, B., Zeldin, E., Harbut, R. 2011. Measuring genetic diversity and purity of cranberry clonal cultivars using microsatellite markers [abstract]. North American Cranberry Research and Extension Workers Annual Meeting. Paper No. 5.
Cranberries (Vaccinium macrocarpon Ait.) are an economically important fruit crop in North America, which are grown from clonally preserved and propagated cultivars. Growers usually select cultivars for their operation based on the know attributes of each cultivar in order to best fit their particular marsh and horticultural performance needs. Since each cranberry cultivar is supposed to be propagated from “the original” cultivar clone, growers expect that each of their beds represent a single genotype with stable and expected trait performance. Genotype purity differences among cranberry beds of same cultivar could potentially result in negative consequences for the growers and industry as a whole. Furthermore, one of the major costs during the establishment of new cranberry marshes is the purchase and planting of clonally propagated materials. Thus, growers require that their new materials are true to type, but no reliable and/or affordable method exist to provide this assurance. As some cranberry beds remain productive for over 100 years, genetic contamination is expected overtime in cranberry marshes. Thus, the development of efficient, reliable methods for variety identification will be vital for the continued success of the cranberry industry. We report the developed a preliminary analysis employing 12 cranberry microsatellite markers to study 164 samples of widely used cranberry cultivars, new hybrids cultivars, hybrids in development, and wild accessions. Overall, the markers were very useful to differentiate within and among cultivars. Genetic profiles also indicate that the development of an efficient assay using fluorescently label multiplexed SSRs is a feasible option using these loci. Our genetic clustering by principal coordinate (PCoA) analysis clearly differentiated most the major cranberry cultivars tested, but within cranberry cultivar variants were observed. Although, additional studies will need to be conducted to confirm the genetic profiles and relationships described herein, it was possible to reach a genetic consensus for several cranberry cultivars using our data set. This is the initial study in a series of studies dedicated to understand the genetic diversity in cranberry with the aim of preserving and using unique genetic materials to breed a more sustainable and capable cranberry crop under changing environmental conditions.