Submitted to: Molecular Ecology Notes
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: May 1, 2007
Publication Date: November 20, 2007
Citation: Winton, L.M., Krohn, A.L., Conn, J.S. 2007. Microsatellite markers for the invasive plant species white sweetclover (Melilotus alba) and yellow sweetclover (Melilotus officinalis). Molecular Ecology Notes. 7(6):1296-1298. Interpretive Summary: Melilotus alba is an invasive plant species commonly called white sweetclover. White sweetclover is currently invading subarctic floodplains and is already well established in lower latitudes of North America. We have developed ten genetic markers from the DNA of white sweetclover. These highly variable markers will allow studies to determine the origins of the sweetclover invasion in the subarctic and to determine the amount of variability between populations in Alaska, Greenland, the Yukon, the Northwest Territories, and compare them to long established populations at lower latitudes of North America. The availability of these markers will be of immediate use to scientists conducting population studies on white sweetclover which may eventually suggest long-term management strategies to control existing populations and preventative measures to prevent colonization of new areas.
Technical Abstract: We describe specific primers and conditions to amplify eight tetranucleotide, one trinucleotide, and one dinucleotide microsatellite DNA loci isolated from an enriched genomic library of Melilotus alba, an invasive plant species throughout North America. The number of alleles per locus ranged from 2 to 6 and yielded 16 multilocus genotypes from the 26 individuals tested. Expected heterozygosities of the ten loci ranged from 0.11 to 0.55 with significant heterozygote deficiencies at 5 loci. These markers will be used to determine the origins of the sweetclover invasion in Alaska and to determine the amount of variability between subarctic and lower latitude populations.