Submitted to: Molecular Ecology Notes
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: April 1, 2005
Publication Date: August 5, 2005
Citation: Boda Slotta, T.A., Foley, M.E., Horvath, D.P. 2005. Development of polymorphic markers for Cirsium arvense, Canada thistle, and their amplification in closely related taxa. Molecular Ecology Notes. (5)917-919. DOI:10.1111/j.1471-8286.2005.01112.x.
Interpretive Summary: Canada thistle is a problematic weed in North America infesting agricultural, rangeland, and natural areas. In order to determine how distribution and population size effect the genetic diversity of Canada thistle, genetic markers were screened. Two sets of genetic markers (SSR and ISSR) were tested in two North Dakota populations to verify if the markers (a) would work, (b) were variable, and (c) could be used to determine if breeding between Canada thistle and native thistles as occurred. This initial screening resulted in a series of genetic markers that can be used in examining diversity within and between Canada thistle populations across North America. Some of the markers also have the potential to identify gene flow between native and introduced thistles.
Suppression of invasive Canada thistle, Cirsium arvense, with biological control agents has stalled because introduced agents were not host specific. To aid in the development of more effective management strategies, molecular markers are needed to examine the genetic structure of Canada thistle populations. Microsatellite (SSR) markers were developed and inter-simple sequence repeat (ISSR) markers were tested for North American populations. An average of nine polymorphic alleles per microsatellite locus and eleven per ISSR locus were detected. These will be used to examine the genetic structure of C. arvense in the Northern Great Plains and their transferability to endemic Cirsium spp.