Use of expressed sequence tag microsatellite markers for exploring genetic diversity in lentil and related wild species
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Expressed sequence tag-simple sequence repeat (EST-SSR) markers were used to analyse genetic diversity among three Lens species. The SSR loci amplified successfully in wild species, with 94·82% transferability in Lens culinaris subsp. orientalis, 95·4% in Lens nigricans, 98·81% in L. culinaris subsp. odemensis, 94·82% in L. culinaris subsp. tomentosus and 96·55% in Lens ervoides. Ninety-nine alleles (average 3·41 alleles/locus) were detected by 29 SSR markers. Based on the unweighted pair group method with arithmetic mean cluster analysis, all the genotypes were grouped into three clusters at a similarity level of 0·30. The diversity analysis indicated no species-specific clustering of the wild and cultivated species. Wild species L. nigricans and L. culinaris subsp. ode- mensis, L. culinaris subsp. orientalis and L. ervoides were grouped in Cluster I, whereas the Mediterranean land races of L. culinaris subsp. culinaris and L. culinaris subsp. tomentosus formed a separate group in Cluster II A. Cluster II B comprised L. ervoides, L. culinaris subsp. orientalis and L. culinaris subsp. culinaris. Clusters II C, II D and II F included cultivated Indian lentil genotypes. Cluster II E comprised Indian and Mediterranean germplasm lines. Cluster II F included three early maturing germplasm lines, whereas Cluster III included only two germplasm lines. The functional annotation of SSR-containing unigenes revealed that a majority of genes were involved in an important transport-related function or were a component of metabolic pathways. A high level of polymorphism of EST-SSRs and their transferability to related wild species indicated that these markers could be used for molecular screening, map construction, comparative genomic studies and marker-assisted selection.