Microsatellites reveal genetic diversity in Rotylenchulus reniformis populations

Renee S. Arias, Salliana R. Stetina, Jennifer L. Tonos, Jodi A. Scheffler, Brian E. Scheffler


Rotylenchulus reniformis is the predominant parasitic nematode of cotton in the Mid South area of the United States. Although variable levels of infection and morphological differences have been reported for this nematode, genetic variability has been more elusive. We developed microsatellite-enriched libraries for R. reniformis, produced 1152 clones, assembled 694 contigs, detected 783 simple sequence repeats (SSR) and designed 192 SSR-markers. The markers were tested on six R. reniformis cultures from four states, Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Georgia, in the USA. Based on performance we selected 156 SSR markers for R. reniformis from which 88 were polymorphic across the six reniform nematode populations, showing as the most frequent motif the dinucleotide AG. The polymorphic information content of the markers ranged from 0.00 to 0.82, and the percentage of multiallelic loci of the isolates was between 40.9 and 45.1%. An interesting finding in this study was the genetic variability detected among the three Mississippi isolates, for which 22 SSR markers were polymorphic. We also tested the level of infection of these isolates on six cotton genotypes, where significant differences were found between the Texas and Georgia isolates. Coincidentally, 62 polymorphic markers were able to distinguish these two populations. Further studies will be necessary to establish possible connections, if any, between markers and level of pathogenicity of the nematode. The SSR markers developed here will be useful in the assessment of the genetic diversity of this nematode, could assist in management practices for control of reniform nematode, be used in breeding programs for crop resistance, and help in detecting the origin and spread of this nematode in the United States.


DNA fingerprinting; genetics; molecular biology; molecular markers; nematode; simple sequence repeats; SSR; STR; reniform nematode

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