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Genetic diversity in wild and cultivated black raspberry (Rubus occidentalis L.) evaluated by simple sequence repeat markers

Dossett, Michael, Bassil, Nahla V., Lewers, Kim S., Finn, Chad E.
Genetic resources and crop evolution 2012 v.59 no.8 pp. 1849
DNA fingerprinting, Rubus occidentalis, crossing, cultivars, genetic variation, germplasm, heterozygosity, microsatellite repeats, population genetics, seedlings
Breeding progress in black raspberry (Rubus occidentalis L.) has been limited by a lack of genetic diversity in elite germplasm. Black raspberry cultivars have been noted for showing very few phenotypic differences and seedlings from crosses between cultivars for a lack of segregation for important traits. Despite these challenges, little molecular work has been done to explore genetic diversity and relationships in wild and cultivated black raspberry germplasm. Microsatellite, or simple sequence repeat (SSR), markers are highly polymorphic codominant markers useful for studying genetic diversity, population genetics, genetic fingerprinting and other applications. We examined genetic diversity in 148 wild and cultivated black raspberry accessions using 21 polymorphic SSR markers. Black raspberry cultivars clustered tightly and showed higher than expected heterozygosity while that of wild accessions was low. Relationships between wild black raspberry accessions were poorly resolved and regional clusters were mostly absent from our analysis. Our results indicated that wild black raspberry germplasm is a relatively untapped resource available for future breeding.