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Clonal diversity and genetic differentiation revealed by SSR markers in wild Vaccinium macrocarpon and Vaccinium oxycoccos

J. E. Zalapa, T. C. Bougie, T. A. Bougie, B. J. Schlautman, E. Wiesman, A. Guzman, D. A. Fajardo, S. Steffan, T. Smith
Annals of applied biology 2015 v.166 no.2 pp. 196-207
Vaccinium macrocarpon, Vaccinium oxycoccos, alleles, breeding, cranberries, genetic markers, genetic variation, genotype, loci, microsatellite repeats, population genetics, wild plants, United States
American cranberry (Vaccinium macrocarpon Ait.) is a perennial, woody plant species, native to North American bogs and wetlands. Cranberries represent one of the few agriculturally important native plants in which wild gene pools are still readily available within the undeveloped wetlands the northern U.S. and Canada. Past studies have reported low genetic variation in V. macrocarpon at the species and population level. However, in this study, we characterized 229 samples of wild V. macrocarpon and V. oxycoccos (small cranberry) and 22 control accessions using microsatellite markers and observed substantial genetic variation and differentiation within and among populations and species. While V. macrocarpon was analyzed using 108 alleles from eleven microsatellite loci revealing 42 unique genotypes, V. oxycoccos was analyzed using 156 alleles from eight loci revealing 28 unique genotypes. There were a total of 182 alleles found in both species combined with 156 of those alleles present in V. oxycoccos and 84 alleles found in V. macrocarpon. All eight loci possessed species-specific alleles with V. oxycoccos possessing 98 private alleles versus 26 private alleles found V. macrocarpon, and 58 alleles were found in common between both species. Our data will be valuable not only for future wild cranberry diversity and population genetics research, but for other cranberry breeding and genetics studies.