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Title: Development of SSR markers and analysis of diversity in Turkish populations of Brachypodium distachyon

item Vogel, John
item Gu, Yong
item Steinwand, Michael

Submitted to: BMC Plant Biology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 7/13/2009
Publication Date: 7/13/2009
Citation: Vogel, J.P., Metin, T., Budak, H., Huo, N., Gu, Y.Q., Steinwand, M.A. 2009. Development of SSR markers and analysis of diversity in Turkish populations of Brachypodium distachyon Biomed Central (BMC) Plant Biology. 9:Article 88. Available:

Interpretive Summary: This paper describes the development of resources for the new model grass Brachypodium distachyon. It describes the identification of simple sequence repeats (SSRs) and the development of 398 genetic markers from these repeat sequences. We also describe the development and phenotypic characterization of inbred lines from collections made by collaborators in Turkey. We then used the SSR markers to examine the diversity of 195 inbred lines. A considerable amount of diversity was observed indicating that Brachypodium can be used to study natural diversity. The distribution of similar genotypes over broad geographic areas suggests that long distance seed dispersal plays a significant role in the ecology of Brachypodium. The inbred lines developed in this study will be a valuable, freely-available resource for the plant research community.

Technical Abstract: Brachypodium distachyon (Brachypodium) is rapidly emerging as a powerful model system to facilitate research aimed at improving grass crops for grain, forage and energy production. To characterize the natural diversity of Brachypodium and provide a valuable new tool to the growing list of resources available to Brachypodium researchers, we created and characterized a large, diverse collection of inbred lines. We developed 84 inbred lines developed from eight locations in Turkey. To enable genotypic characterization of this collection, we created 398 SSR markers from BAC end and EST sequences. An analysis of 187 diploid lines from 56 locations with 43 SSR markers showed considerable genotypic diversity. There was some correlation between SSR genotypes and broad geographic regions, but there was also a high level of genotypic diversity at individual locations. Phenotypic analysis of this new germplasm resource revealed considerable variation in flowering time, seed size, and plant architecture. The inbreeding nature of Brachypodium was confirmed by an extremely high level of homozygosity in wild plants and a lack of cross-pollination under laboratory conditions.Taken together, the inbreeding nature and genotypic diversity observed at individual locations suggest a significant amount of long-distance seed dispersal. The resources developed in this study are freely available to the research community and will facilitate experimental applications based on natural diversity.