Species Discrimination, Population Structure and Linkage Disequilibrium in Eucalyptus camaldulensis and Eucalyptus tereticornis Using SSR Markers
by Shanmugapriya Arumugasundaram, Modhumita Ghosh, Sivakumar Veerasamy, Yasodha Ramasamy
Eucalyptus camaldulensis and E. tereticornis are closely related species commonly cultivated for pulp wood in many tropical countries including India. Understanding the genetic structure and linkage disequilibrium (LD) existing in these species is essential for the improvement of industrially important traits. Our goal was to evaluate the use of simple sequence repeat (SSR) loci for species discrimination, population structure and LD analysis in these species. Investigations were carried out with the most common alleles in 93 accessions belonging to these two species using 62 SSR markers through cross amplification. The polymorphic information content (PIC) ranged from 0.44 to 0.93 and 0.36 to 0.93 in E. camaldulensis and E. tereticornis respectively. A clear delineation between the two species was evident based on the analysis of population structure and species-specific alleles. Significant genotypic LD was found in E. camaldulensis, wherein out of 135 significant pairs, 17 pairs showed r2≥0.1. Similarly, in E. tereticornis, out of 136 significant pairs, 18 pairs showed r2≥0.1. The extent of LD decayed rapidly showing the significance of association analyses in eucalypts with higher resolution markers. The availability of whole genome sequence for E. grandis and the synteny and co-linearity in the genome of eucalypts, will allow genome-wide genotyping using microsatellites or single nucleotide polymorphims.
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