Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: November 28, 2005
Publication Date: January 6, 2006
Citation: Lewers, K.S. 2006. Molecular markers for blackberry. Meeting Abstract. Technical Abstract: Traditional blackberry breeding relies on years of evaluation to allow a breeder to select potential cultivars. It takes longer to identify plants with certain traits that require either plant maturity or specific environments to express. For blackberry, examples would be fall-fruiting or orange rust resistance. As a result, the process of developing new bramble cultivars can take longer than breeders, nurseries, and growers would prefer. In the future, breeders will have available genetic assay tools called simple sequence repeat molecular markers (SSRs) that will allow them to select indirectly for certain traits that otherwise can take years to become evident. Previous NABGA-funded research concluded that only a small number of raspberry and strawberry SSRs are sufficient for use with blackberry and that SSRs derived from blackberry are needed. We contracted with Clemson University to develop SSRs from ‘Merton Thornless’, the source of thornlessness for nearly all US thornless blackberry cultivars. Over 18,000 expressed genes were archived. The sequences for 3,000 of those were obtained and searched for candidates from which to design SSRs. Over 1,200 potential SSRs were identified, and primers were designed to test with blackberry, raspberry, and strawberry. Of the 26 SSRs tested so far, 18 (69%) will be useful with a blackberry mapping population we are working on in collaboration with Dr. John Clark at the University of Arkansas. In addition, 11 SSRs (42%) will be useful with a raspberry mapping population we are working on with Dr. Courtney Weber of Cornell University, New York, and three SSRs (11%) will be useful with our strawberry mapping populations.