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Microsatellite marker-based identification and genetic relationships of olive cultivars from the Extremadura region of Spain

Author(s): F.J. Delgado-Martinez, I. Amaya, J.F. Sánchez-Sevilla and M.C. Gomez-Jimenez

Seventy-seven olive accessions corresponding to 25 cultivars from the Extremadura region of Spain were studied using four microsatellite or SSR markers in order to fingerprint them, and evaluate genetic similarity and relationships between local and introduced olive cultivars. The number of alleles per locus ranged from 4 to 8, with a mean of 6.25 alleles per primer pair (a total of 25 alleles). The observed heterozygosity ranged from 0.58 to 0.95, while the expected heterozygosity varied between 0.68 and 0.83. The polymorphism information content values ranged from 0.63 to 0.79. The mean polymorphism information content value of 0.70 for the SSR loci provided sufficient discriminating ability to evaluate the genetic diversity among the cultivars. The SSR data allowed unequivocal identification of all the cultivars; a combination of three SSR markers was sufficient to discriminate all 25 olive cultivars. A dendrogram was prepared, using the unweighted pair-group method with arithmetic mean clustering algorithm; it depicted the pattern of relationships between the cultivars. Most of the local cultivars grouped according to their geographic origin. No clear clustering trends were observed when the morphological traits of fruit endocarps or fruit use of cultivars were employed as analysis criteria. We conclude that there is a high level of variability among local olive cultivars from the Extremadura region at both the morphological and molecular levels; these data should be useful for identifying and distinguishing local germplasm.