Biodiversity Science ›› 2011, Vol. 19 ›› Issue (5): 535-542.doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1003.2011.08109

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Isolation of SSR markers for two related second-generation energy crop species, Miscanthus nepalensis and M. nudipes (Poaceae)

Hongzheng Ma1, 2, Shanshan Li2, Song Ge2, Silan Dai1*, Wenli Chen2*   

  1. 1College of Landscape Architecture, Beijing Forestry University, Beijing 100083

    2State Key Laboratory of Systematic and Evolutionary Botany, Institute of Botany, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100093
  • Received:2011-07-10 Revised:2011-08-04 Online:2011-10-08
  • Wenli Chen

Miscanthus species have shown great potential as second-generation energy crops, especially when planted on marginal land. Within the genus, M. nepalensis and M. nudipes are much different from other species owing to the presence of only two anthers, and are thus treated as sect. Diandra Keng taxonomically. Distributed in the Himalaya and Hengduan Mountains, the two species exhibit a very high level of tolerance to cold and drought stresses. In order to scientifically develop these crop species, the first step would be to carry out a population-genetic investigation to elucidate the genetic basis of phenotypes such as tolerance-related and morphological characteristics. For this purpose, we need to select practical and high-resolution molecular markers. We sequenced six individuals of M. nepalensis and M. nudipes to validate the efficacious use of 42 previously-used SSR primer pairs. A total of 14 primer pairs were identified as applicable, of which 12 were from Miscanthus species, indicating that the amplification ratio within genus Miscanthus is 52.2% (12/23). Of the 14 primer pairs, 11 were polymorphic. Screening four natural populations of M. nepalensis and M. nudipes using the 14 SSR markers, we found that these primers had high power in detecting genetic diversity and population genetic structure in M. nepalensis and M. nudipes, and thus provide feasible genetic markers for population genetics studies and molecular breeding.

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