Volume 5 Supplement 7
Microsatellite variability between apricot and related Prunusspecies
© Maghuly and Laimer; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. 2011
Published: 13 September 2011
Apricots, family Rosaceae, are economically important representatives of the genus Prunus. The number of apricot species ranges from three to ten, depending on the classification system adopted. The major obstacles to expansion of apricot production are irregular yields and low resistance to diseases. Compared with the high genetic variability in related species, apricots are not so variable and thus interspecific hybrids were proposed as a means to overcome deficiencies inherent in the common apricot. To estimate the extent of variation in apricot germplasm, between ecogeographical groups and related species, is very useful for planning breeding programmes, through diversity analysis, cultivar identification or marker-assisted selection.
Variability parameters calculated for 10 SSR markers in 100 apricot cultivars origin of five ecogeogrphical region and related species using POPGENE
Number of putative alleles
Effective alleles per locus(Ne)
Observed heterozygosity (Ho)
Expected heterozygosity (He)
Inbreeding coefficient (FST)
Gene flow (Nm)
Results and conclusions
Results to date indicate that crosses between apricot and apricot related species are successful, when made in either direction and the resulting hybrids are viable . In this manner, P. mandshurica and P. siberica were used in common apricot breeding as a source of cold hardiness . Likewise, adaptation to humid climates should be easy to transmit through hybridization with P. mume and P. armeniaca var. ansu. In addition, Rubio et al.  suggested P. manchurica as the possible origin of the apricot cultivars resistance to Sharka. It should be emphasiszed that in the interest of still further extending the genetic diversity available for posterity, additional efforts should be committed to the systematic exploration for unique phenotypes of apricots, and also of related species.
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