Development and characterization of large-scale simple sequence repeats in Jute

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Jute is an important crop of the Indian subcontinent and comprises tossa jute (Corchorus olitorius) and white jute (C. capsularis). The yield and fiber quality of this crop remained stagnant for many years and could not be improved through conventional plant breeding. Also, no effort has been made to develop molecular markers on a scale required for marker-assisted selection (MAS) to supplement conventional plant breeding. As a first step toward deploying MAS for jute improvement, 2469 simple sequence repeats (SSRs) were developed in tossa jute (JRO 524) using four SSR-enriched genomic libraries. A random subset of 100 SSRs (25 SSRs from each library) was used to detect polymorphism between the parental genotypes of each of the two recombinant inbred line (RIL) mapping populations. The RILs are being developed from JRO 524 x PPO4 (for fiber fineness) and JRC 321 x CMU 010 (for lignin content) crosses to prepare molecular maps and conduct quantitative trait loci (QTL) analyses. Both SSR length polymorphism and ± polymorphism (null alleles, i.e., presence and absence of specific SSR) were detected; 50 SSRs detected polymorphism between the two genotypes of tossa jute, whereas 45 SSRs detected polymorphism between the two genotypes of white jute. This SSR allelic polymorphism in jute is higher than that reported in other crops and is adequate for construction of genetic maps for QTL analysis. The large-scale SSRs will also prove useful in studying genetic diversity, population structure, and association mapping.

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