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Structural characterization and mapping of functional EST-SSR markers in Theobroma cacao

Fouet O., Allègre M., Argout X., Jeanneau M., Lemainque A., Pavek S., Boland A., Risterucci A.M., Loor R.G., Tahi G.M., Sabau X., Courtois B., Lanaud C.. 2011. Tree Genetics and Genomes, 7 (4) : p. 799-817.

DOI: 10.1007/s11295-011-0375-5

Theobroma cacao L. is a major cash crop for tropical countries, providing incomes for 14 million small farmers. Establishing sustainable disease resistance and maintaining cocoa qualities are among the major objectives of breeding programs. To enrich the high-density genetic map, useful for all cocoa genetic studies, with gene-based markers, a recently produced large EST resource was mined to develop expressed sequence tag-based simple sequence repeat markers (EST-SSRs) defined in genes with a putative known function. A set of 174 polymorphic EST-SSRs was identified from a selection of 314 non-redundant EST-SSRs with a putative known function. Of them, 115 loci were mapped on the cocoa reference map. This new map contains 582 codominant markers arranged in ten linkage groups corresponding to the haploid number of chromosomes. An average interval between markers of 1.3 cM was found, with approximately one SSR every 2 cM. This new set of EST-SSRs includes 14 candidate genes for plant resistance or cocoa qualities. The percentage of polymorphic SSRs varied depending on the different gene regions from which they originated, with respectively 54%, 69%, and 82% of polymorphic EST-SSRs originating from coding sequences, and from the non-coding untranslated 5? UTR and 3?UTR regions. This new map contains a set of 384 SSR markers that are easily transferable across different mapping populations and useful for all genetic analyses in T. cacao. The new set of EST-SSRs will be a useful tool for studying the functional diversity of populations and for carrying out association mapping studies.

Mots-clés : theobroma cacao

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