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Keywords:

  • energy crop;
  • genetic diversity;
  • polyploid;
  • simple sequence repeat

Abstract

Switchgrass is a large, North American, perennial grass that is being evaluated as a potential energy crop. There is a need to assess genetic diversity in stored accessions and in remaining native stands to assist breeding and conservation efforts. Marker development will also be necessary for genetic linkage mapping. Toward this end, 32 switchgrass genic di-, tri- and tetranucleotide repeat microsatellites were identified from expressed sequence tags (ESTs). These microsatellites were used to screen individuals from two different named cultivars. The markers displayed a high level of polymorphism consistent with the tetraploid, allogamous behaviour of the cultivars tested.