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Transferability of microsatellite markers in Syagrus coronata (Mart.) Becc. (Arecaceae), an iconic palm tree from the Brazilian semiarid region

Author(s): R.R. Simplicio, D.G. Pereira and A.M. Waldschmidt

The licuri palm Syagrus coronata plays a key role in the ecology and economy of Brazilian semiarid region. Nonetheless, genetic data about populations of this species are absent even though the intensive and uncontrolled exploitation since colonial periods has threatened the sustainability and viability of licuri populations. Therefore, we attempted to test the efficacy of transferability of microsatellite loci isolated from three palm tree species to S. coronata to analyze the population of this species throughout their range. A set of 19 heterologous microsatellite loci was tested in three native populations of S. coronata from the State of Bahia, northeastern Brazil, which amplified using distinct annealing temperatures (50°-60°C). Based on the 10 most polymorphic loci, the selected populations exhibited a mean number of alleles per locus of 9.8, and high genetic diversity values since the expected heterozygosity ranged from 0.573 to 0.754, while the observed heterozygosity varied from 0.785 to 1.000. In conclusion, the tested loci are transferrable and highly efficient to population studies in S. coronata, thus minimizing the lack of species-specific loci to the genetic monitoring of licuri populations.