VEGETABLE AND ORNAMENTAL RESEARCH IN THE GULF SOUTH
Location: Southern Horticultural Research
Title: ANALYSIS OF GENETIC DIVERSITY IN SELECTED CORNUS SPECIES USING SSR MARKERS
Submitted to: American Society of Horticulture Science Meeting
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: February 15, 2006
Publication Date: July 27, 2006
Citation: Wang, X., Trigiano, R.N., Windham, M.T., Rinehart, T.A., Spiers, J.M., Scheffler, B.E. 2006. Analysis of genetic diversity in selected cornus species using ssr markers. American Society of Horticulture Science Meeting.
The genus Cornus consists of many species, of which C. florida, C. kousa, C. mas, and C. stolonifera are four main ornamental species in North America, Asia, and Europe. For example, over 200 cultivars of C. florida alone have been developed for the nursery industry. Microsatellite loci, or SSR, are useful markers for studying genetic diversity and for creating linkage maps of the various species. The objective of this study was to investigate the genetic diversity between these four Cornus species and eight hybrids. Evaulation of the diversity will be useful in assessing the selection pressure of breeders and/or genetic drift of these dogwood cultivars/lines. Fifteen SSR primer pairs were selected to examine 56 Cornus cultivars and/or lines of the four species and hybrids. The study included 28 C. florida cultivars and lines, 15 C. kousa cultivars and lines, four C. stolonifera cultivars, one cultivar of C. mass and eight hybrids between various Cornus species. An exceptionally high level of diversity was detected among the 56 entries in both the number and size range of SSR alleles. A total of 95 alleles with an average of 7.8 alleles per loci were detected among these 56 genotypes. These selected Cornus cultivars and/or lines could be clustered into four to six subgroups. Some Cornus species were integrated into other species groups, suggesting gene flow between species via the breeding or evolution. SSR markers can contribute to the exploitation of genetic diversity for existing Cornus germplasm. For further study, examination of more SSR loci could explain more completely the diversity among these Cornus cultivars and lines.