Submitted to: Canadian Journal of Plant Science
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 12/4/2021
Publication Date: 12/13/2021
Citation: Rowland, L.J., Ogden, E.L., Ballington, J.R. 2021. Relationships among blueberry species within the section cyanococcus of the vaccinium genus based on est-pcr markers. Canadian Journal of Plant Science. https://doi.org/10.1139/cjps-2021-0221.
Interpretive Summary: All the commercially important blueberry species of North America belong to the Vaccinium genus, in a taxonomic group called Cyanococcus. Other blueberry species that are not commercially important belong to this group as well. The species in this group include some which have two copies of the basic chromosome set, four copies, and six copies, referred to as diploids, tetraploids, and hexaploids. The genetic relationships of the various species in this group have not been investigated to date using DNA markers. Here, we have used a type of DNA marker developed in our laboratory, called EST-PCR markers, to examine the genetic relatedness of the various species in the Cyanococcus group and constructed an evolutionary tree based on their similarity. These findings should shed light on the genetic relationships between the various blueberry species in this group and on the origins of these species with multiple sets of chromosomes. This work will be useful to blueberry scientists and breeders in developing crossing strategies for breeding new blueberry varieties.
Technical Abstract: Commercial blueberry species of North America belong to the Vaccinium genus, section Cyanococcus. Phylogenetic relationships of 51 accessions of different ploidy levels within Cyanococcus were investigated using 249 expressed sequence tag-polymerase chain reaction markers and standard clustering methods. Of the commercial species, tetraploid V. corymbosum grouped most closely with the diploids, V. atrococcum and V. caesariense, followed by the diploid V. elliottii. Tetraploid V. angustifolium grouped with the diploids, V. boreale and V. myrtilloides. Hexaploid V. virgatum grouped most closely with the diploid V. tenellum and the tetraploid V. simulatum, thus shedding light on the origins of these polyploid species.