Molecular markers for the flower phenotype of the ornamental crop Calluna vulgaris.
Written by Thomas Borchert   
Tuesday, 11 May 2010 08:03

Molecular markers for the flower phenotype of the ornamental crop Calluna vulgaris.

Abstract: Calluna vulgaris is an economically important ornamental crop of the European horticultural sector. Most important is the ‘bud-flowering’ phenotype. These flowers do not open but remain as bud throughout the whole flowering season per year. As a consequence, the prolonged preservation of coloring drastically increased the economic impact of this crop. Breeding of the ‘bud-flowering’ phenotype is hampered by a long juvenile phase until selection is possible after flowering. Therefore, establishment of MAS is desirable although the trait of interest is easily visible. Segregating backcross population were produced by manual crossings. Molecular marker techniques (RAPDs, ISSRs, SCARs, PCR-SSCPs) were performed according to standard laboratory protocols. Segregation analysis revealed a monogenic-recessive inheritance of the ‘bud-flowering’ trait. By combining random PCR and BSA we identified two candidate molecular markers in coupling phase. However, both were only applicable in a single segregating population and proved to be non-functional in other populations as well as in independent varieties. The RAPD markers were transformed into SCAR markers. Here, the polymorphism was lost, but could successfully be restored using PCR-SSCP analysis. Our experiments revealed the applicability and feasibility of molecular marker techniques in C. vulgaris. Thus, a MAS system allowing early selection for the ‘bud-flowering’ trait is potentially in reach. In order to identify more convenient markers, we now target this trait in larger populations using the AFLP technique.

Thomas Borchert1, Annette Hohe1

1Leibniz-Institute of Vegetable and Ornamental Crops

Keywords: marker-assisted selection , PCR-SSCP , RAPD , SCAR , Ericaceae


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