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Microsatellite DNA somaclonal variation in micropropagated trembling aspen (Populus tremuloides)

Department of Agricultural, Food and Nutritional Science, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada T6G 2P5; Department of Biology, Life Sciences Centre, Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada B3H 4J1
Plant Cell Reports (Impact Factor: 2.94). 08/2001; 20(6):531-536. DOI: 10.1007/s002990100365

ABSTRACT Microsatellite DNA markers of ten simple sequence repeat (SSR) loci were used to examine somaclonal variation in randomly selected micropropagated plantlets derived from three different Populus tremuloides donor trees (genotypes). The plantlets were obtained from tissue cultures of dormant vegetative buds, and those derived from the same donor tree, grown in the greenhouse, did not exhibit any sign of visible morphological variation. No microsatellite DNA variation was observed among 13 somaclones of one tree and 4 somaclones of another tree at eight of the ten SSR loci. However, despite the small number of micropropagated progeny per tree sampled, microsatellite DNA variation was detected among the plantlets derived from the same donor trees at two SSR loci. The primer pair for the SSR locus PTR5 revealed somaclonal variation in 1 out of the 13 plantlets obtained from one genotype, while the primer pair for the PTR2 SSR locus revealed somaclonal variation in one out of the four plantlets obtained from another genotype. The variation at the PTR2 locus resulted in the appearance of a new allele of increased size, possibly due to an addition of the repeat units, while the variation at the PTR5 locus resulted in the appearance of third allele, presumably due to the presence of a single extra chromosome or duplication of a chromosomal segment. These results demonstrate that the genetic fidelity of micropropagated plants of P. tremuloides cannot always be assured and somaclonal variation can occur even when tissues of well organized vegetative buds are used for tissue cultures; that somaclonal variation cannot always be detected at the gross morphological level; and that microsatellite DNA markers provide useful and sensitive markers for determining the clonal fidelity and somaclonal variation in P. tremuloides.

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