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Polymorphic microsatellite markers for the rare and endangered cactus Uebelmannia pectinifera (Cactaceae) and its congeneric species

Author(s): E.M. Moraes1, F.W. Cidade1, G.A.R. Silva1 and M.C. Machado2

The cactus genus Uebelmannia includes 3 narrow endemic species associated with rocky savanna habitats in eastern South America. Because of their rarity and illegal over-collection, all of these species are endangered. Taxonomic uncertainties resulting from dramatic local variation in morphology within Uebelmannia species preclude effective conservation efforts, such as the reintroduction or translocation of plants, to restore declining populations. In this study, we developed and characterized 18 perfect, dinucleotide simple-sequence repeat markers for U. pectinifera, the most widely distributed species in the genus, and tested the cross-amplification of these markers in the remaining congeneric species and subspecies.