Development and application of microsatellite markers for genomic analysis of papaya

Moriah Eustice, Qingyi Yu, Chun Wan Lai, Shaobin Hou, Jyothi Thimmapuram, Lei Liu, Maqsudul Alam, Paul H. Moore, Gernot G. Presting, Ray Ming

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Papaya has a relatively small genome, displays high levels of phenotypic diversity, and is amenable to transformation, making it attractive as a fruit tree model system. The high level of phenotypic diversity seen among papaya cultivars in the field does not correlate with the low levels of genotypic polymorphism thus far elucidated. The highly mutable nature of microsatellites or simple sequence repeats (SSRs) make them potentially powerful markers for distinguishing deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) polymorphisms between closely related genotypes. Genomic research for papaya has resulted in a significant quantity of sequence data. We mined 28.1 Mb of bacterial artificial chromosomes end sequences, 5.8 Mb of complementary DNA, and 1.6 Mb of random genomic sequences for SSRs. We generated 938 SSR markers and tested for polymorphism among seven varieties that had been used to produce five mapping populations. The level of polymorphism was highest for Kaek Dum∈×∈2H94 with 210 markers, followed by UH928∈×∈SunUp with 194, AU9∈×∈SunUp with 189, UH918∈×∈SunUp with 177, and Kapoho∈×∈ SunUp displaying the lowest level with 97. Variation in levels of polymorphism, motif predominance, and motif length between the genomic and genic fractions indicated differential selection pressures acting on the microsatellites in these two fractions. The microsatellites developed in this study will greatly assist in the genetic and physical mapping of the papaya genome as well as enhance breeders' ability to improve the crop.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)333-341
Number of pages9
JournalTree Genetics and Genomes
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2008


  • Carica papaya
  • Caricaceae
  • DNA marker
  • Genetic mapping
  • Microsatellite polymorphism

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Forestry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics
  • Horticulture


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