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Development of molecular method for sex identification in date palm (Phoenix dactylifera L.) plantlets using novel sex-linked microsatellite markers

Maryam,, Jaskani, Muhammad Jafar, Awan, Faisal Saeed, Ahmad, Saeed, Khan, Iqrar A.
3 Biotech 2016 v.6 no.1 pp. 22
Phoenix dactylifera, alleles, breeding, cultivars, dioecy, females, flowering, genetic analysis, genetic markers, heterozygosity, homozygosity, loci, male plants, males, microsatellite repeats, parents, plantlets, progeny, seedlings, trees
Microsatellite markers containing simple sequence repeats (SSRs) are a valuable tool for genetic analysis. Date palm is a dioecious and slow flowering and is very difficult to identify the gender of the trees until it reaches the reproductive age (5–10 years). A total of 12 microsatellite primers were used with 30 date palm samples, 14 parents (8 male + 6 females) and 16 progeny (developed from parents breeding) which showed that microsatellites were highly polymorphic, having a great number of alleles. A total of 124 alleles were characterized in 12 SSR loci. On average, there are 9.08 alleles per locus, with a range from 5 to 16 alleles, for primers mpdCIR15 and mpdCIR57, respectively. These primers produced 15 polymorphic loci specifically in male date palm samples and the seedlings harboring the unique fragments were further characterized as male plants. Increasingly, 38.46 % of these loci were scored as homozygous alleles while 61.53 % heterozygous allelic loci were determined. Primer mpdCIR48 produced a specific locus (250/250) in all male samples whereas the same locus was absent in female samples. Similarly, a locus of 300/310 bp reoccurred in 5 date palm male samples using marker DP-168 which indicated that these are the promising candidate marker to detect the sex in date palm seedlings at early stage. The data resulted from combination of 12 primers enabled the 16 seedling samples progeny (developed from parents breeding) of date palm cultivars to divide into two groups i.e., male and female regarding their sex expression comparative to the parents (male + female) using the principle coordinate analysis.