Validation of molecular markers associated with perpetual flowering in Octoploid Fragaria germplasm
Perpetual-flowering (PF) is a highly desirable trait within cultivated strawberries (Fragaria texttimesananassa) for the commercial and home garden markets. The most widely used source of the PF trait was originally introgressed from a wild F. virginiana subsp. glauca accession collected in the Wasatch Mountains near Salt Lake City, UT in 1955. This source is conferred by a single dominant QTL, FaPFRU, and was recently identified in multiple bi-parental populations. Multiple markers have been proposed as diagnostic tests for marker-assisted selection (MAS). These markers were proposed after looking at a relatively small sample of germplasm. To identify the best diagnostic testing procedure for MAS, the markers were evaluated individually and in combination on a training set of cultivars with known genotypes and the best test was used to determine the distribution of the FaPFRU source of PF within a large sample of octoploid Fragaria germplasm. Of the tests evaluated, the microsatellite marker Bx215 alone was found to have the best diagnostic ability for MAS with an accuracy of 93.1% in controlled conditions. When utilizing the test on 390 F. texttimesananassa accessions, 164 accessions were identified to likely have the FaPFRU locus. Nine octoploid Fragaria accessions were PF and did not have this marker, indicating possible recombination events or potentially novel sources of the PF trait. Future work will be needed to dissect the PF trait in these nine individuals.
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