Microsatellite loci in eelgrass Zostera marina reveal marked polymorphism within and among populations


T. B. H. Reusch Fax: + 31-50-363-2261; E-mail:


Using an enriched genomic library, we developed seven (CT)n/(GA)n microsatellite loci for eelgrass Zostera marina L. Enrichment is described and highly recommended for genomes in which microsatellites are rare, such as in many plants. A test for polymorphism was performed on individuals from three geographically separated populations (N = 15/population) and revealed considerable genetic variation. The number of alleles per locus varied between five and 11 and the observed heterozygosities for single loci ranged from 0.16 to 0.81 within populations. Mean allele lengths were markedly different among populations, indicating that the identified loci will be useful in studying population structure in Z. marina. As the frequency of the most abundant multilocus genotype within populations was always < 1%, these loci have sufficient resolving power to address clone size in predominantly vegetatively reproducing populations.