Universal primers for the amplification of chloroplast microsatellites in grasses (Poaceae)

Authors

  • Jim Provan,

    Corresponding author
    1. School of Biology and Biochemistry, The Queen's University of Belfast, 97 Lisburn Road, Belfast BT9 7BL, Northern Ireland,
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  • Pamela M. Biss,

    1. Department of Biological Sciences, The Open University, Walton Hall, Milton Keynes, Bucks MK7 6AA, UK,
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  • Darragh McMeel,

    1. School of Biology and Biochemistry, The Queen's University of Belfast, 97 Lisburn Road, Belfast BT9 7BL, Northern Ireland,
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  • Sarah Mathews

    1. Division of Biological Sciences, University of Missouri — Columbia, 226 Tucker Hall, Columbia, MO 65211, USA
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    • §

      Present address: Arnold Arboretum of Harvard University, 22 Divinity Avenue, Cambridge, MA 02138, USA.


Dr Jim Provan. Fax: + 44 28 9033 5877; E-mail: J.Provan@qub.ac.uk.

Abstract

Attempts to design truly universal primers to amplify chloroplast microsatellites have met with limited success due to nonconservation of repeat loci across widely divergent taxa. We have used the complete chloroplast genome sequences of rice, maize and wheat to design five pairs of primers that amplify homologous mononucleotide repeats across the Poaceae (grasses). Sequencing confirmed conservation of repeat motifs across subfamilies and a preliminary study in Anthoxanthum odoratum revealed polymorphism at two loci with a haplotype diversity value of 0.495. These primers provide a valuable tool to study cytoplasmic diversity in this extensively studied and economically important range of taxa.

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