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Microsatellite (Simple Sequence Repeat) Marker–based Paternity Analysis of a Seven-Parent Sugarcane Polycross


This article in CS

  1. Vol. 50 No. 4, p. 1401-1408
    Received: Oct 7, 2009

    * Corresponding author(s): thomas.tew@ars.usda.gov
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  1. Thomas L. Tew * and
  2. Yong-Bao Pan
  1. USDA-ARS, Sugarcane Research Laboratory, 5883 USDA Road, Houma, LA 70360. Disclaimer: Product names and trademarks are mentioned to report factually on available data; however, the USDA neither guarantees nor warrants the standard of the product, and the use of the name by USDA does not imply the approval of the product to the exclusion of others that may also be suitable


It is very challenging to make all cross combinations among elite parents used in sugarcane (Saccharum spp.) breeding programs. Hence, the polycross approach has been used to maximize the number of cross combinations that can be represented among progeny. The primary objection to using the polycross approach is the rapid loss of paternity information. Simple sequence repeat (SSR) marker-based paternity analysis is proposed as an effective molecular tool for identifying paternity of progeny from a seven-parent polycross. Using seven highly polymorphic SSR markers, 87 progeny from each polycross family were genotyped along with the parents, producing a total of 51 polymorphic SSR alleles, 15 of which were parent-specific. These alleles enabled the positive identification of the paternity for 79 to 99% of the progeny from the polycross, depending on the maternal parent. The extent to which each parent contributed pollen, and thus was represented as a paternal parent, ranged from 4 to 27%. Winter survival and visual ratings of the polycross progeny in the field were adversely affected by the extent of selfing within each polycross. The ability to identify paternity of polycross progeny with microsatellite markers can be used in sugarcane breeding to maximize the number of desirable crosses from a limited source of flowers with minimal loss of pedigree information.

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