Characteristics and transferability of new apple EST-derived SSRs to other Rosaceae species

Ksenija Gasic, Yuepeng Han, Sunee Kertbundit, Vladimir Shulaev, Amy F. Iezzoni, Ed W. Stover, Richard L. Bell, Michael E. Wisniewski, Schuyler S. Korban

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Genic microsatellites or simple sequence repeat markers derived from expressed sequence tags (ESTs), referred to as EST-SSRs, are inexpensive to develop, represent transcribed genes, and often have assigned putative function. The large apple (Malus × domestica) EST database (over 300,000 sequences) provides a valuable resource for developing well-characterized DNA molecular markers. In this study, we have investigated the level of transferability of 68 apple EST-SSRs in 50 individual members of the Rosaceae family, representing three genera and 14 species. These representatives included pear (Pyrus communis), apricot (Prunus armeniaca), European plum (P. domestica), Japanese plum (P. salicina), almond (P. dulcis), peach (P. persica), sour cherry (P. cerasus), sweet cherry (P. avium), strawberry (Fragaria vesca, F. moschata, F. virginiana, F. nipponica, and F. pentaphylla), and rose (Rosa hybrida). All 68 primer pairs gave an amplification product when tested on eight apple cultivars, and for most, the genomic DNA-derived amplification product matched the expected size based on EST (in silico) data. When tested across members of the Rosaceae, 75% of these primer pairs produced amplification products. Transferability of apple EST-SSRs across the Rosaceae ranged from 25% in apricot to 59% in the closely related pear. Besides pear, the highest transferability of these apple EST-SSRs, at the genus level, was observed for strawberry and peach/almond, 49 and 38%, respectively. Three markers amplified in at least one genotype within all tested species, while eight additional markers amplified in all species, except for cherry. These 11 markers are deemed good candidates for a widely transferable Rosaceae marker set provided their level of polymorphism is adequate. Overall, these findings suggest that transferability of apple EST-SSRs across Rosaceae is varied, yet valuable, thereby providing additional markers for comparative mapping and for carrying out evolutionary studies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)397-411
Number of pages15
JournalMolecular Breeding
Issue number3
StatePublished - Apr 2009


  • Expressed sequenced tags (EST)
  • Rosaceae
  • Simple sequence repeats (SSR)
  • Transferability

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Molecular Biology
  • Agronomy and Crop Science
  • Genetics
  • Plant Science


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