Submitted to: Acta Horticulturae
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 8/20/2008
Publication Date: 3/20/2009
Citation: Bassil, N.V., Oda, A.K., Hummer, K.E. 2009. Blueberry Microsatellite Markers Identify Cranberry Cultivars. Acta Horticulturae. 810:181-186.
Interpretive Summary: The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) - Agricultural Research Service (ARS) - National Clonal Germplasm Repository (NCGR) in Corvallis, Oregon, maintains a genebank preserving more than 200 types of cranberries. Many cranberry cultivars originated from native bog populations in the 1800s and early 1900s. The identity of old and recently released cultivated varieties continues to be questionable due to different types that start from seed or a plant contaminated source. The scarcity of qualitative descriptions in cranberry also contributes to misidentification. To clearly identify these cultivars, we will develop DNA fingerprints based on earlier work with blueberry. This study evaluated 46 blueberry markers and identified 16 that could distinguish cranberry. These blueberry SSR markers will be used to fingerprint each of the cranberries in the collection at the NCGR. The markers will also be used to assess genetic variation of important cultivars growing in Oregon and Washington bogs. The information generated will be accessible on-line to the cranberry community.
Technical Abstract: Throughout the more than 100 years of cranberry, Vaccinium macrocarpon Ait., cultivation, the confirmation of genotype identity through morphological means has had inherent difficulties. The cranberry growth habit, where seedlings can grow in the middle of a clonal colony and the practice of taking clippings from old fields to establish new ones can destroy trueness-to-type. Previously, we successfully identified blueberry (Vaccinium corymbosum L.) cultivars using microsatellite markers. Our objective for this study was to determine if these markers could be used for cranberry cultivar identification. Forty-six blueberry simple sequence repeat markers (SSR), i.e., microsatellites, were tested for the ability to amplify a polymorphic marker in American cranberry accessions. Sixteen SSR resulted in informative and polymorphic primer pairs and were used to fingerprint 16 economically important cranberry cultivars. They distinguished between the cultivars and grouped them based on pedigree. Two accessions labeled as V. macrocarpon cv. Searles, collected from Jacob Searles Cranberry Co. in Wisconsin, had different genetic profiles. They were differentiated from each other based on the proportion of shared allele distance using these SSR, thus demonstrating the power of these markers in identifying genetically different cranberry plants that share the same cultivar name. A subset of these 16 blueberry SSR markers will be used to fingerprint the cranberry collection of the US Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service, National Clonal Germplasm Repository (NCGR), to evaluate genetic variation of important cultivars growing in Oregon and Washington fields, and to provide web-access to these markers and fingerprints for the cranberry community.