Characterization of microsatellite loci in Spartina species (Poaceae)


Michael J. Blum. Present address: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, National Exposure Research Laboratory, Molecular Ecology Branch, Cincinnati, OH 45268, USA. Fax: 513-569-7609; E-mail:


The cordgrasses in the genus Spartina have become model organisms for studying biological invasions from both ecological and genetic perspectives. Here we characterize 11 disomic loci in Spartina alterniflora that show promise for population studies and for studying hybridization events between S. alterniflora and S. foliosa. Comparisons among invasive and native S. alterniflora populations showed that levels of allelic variation are lower in invasive populations. In addition, nearly all loci that amplified in S. foliosa populations and in a swarm of S. alterniflora×foliosa hybrids were polymorphic. We also found that several loci amplified successfully in other Spartina species.