Article | . 2017 Vol. 35, Issue. 1
Evaluation of DNA Markers for Fruit-related Traits and Genetic Relationships Based on Simple Sequence Repeat in Watermelon Accessions

Department of Horticultural Bioscience, Pusan National University1
Jeollabuk-do Agricultural Research & Extension Services2
Life and Industry Convergence Research Institute, Pusan National University3

2017.. 108:120


Modern watermelon cultivars (Citrullus lanatus [Thunb.] Matsum.& Nakai var. lanatus ) have fruits with diverse phenotypes, including fruit shape, rind patterns, and flesh color. Molecular markers enable efficient selection of plants harboring desirable phenotypes. In the present study, publicly available DNA markers tightly linked to fruit shape, rind stripe pattern, and flesh color were evaluated using 85 watermelon accessions with diverse fruit phenotypes. For fruit shape, the dCAPS SUN - Cla011257 marker revealed an 81% of marker - trait match for accessions with elongated or round fruits. For rind stripe pattern, the SCAR wsb6-11marker was effective for selecting Jubilee-type rind pattern from other rind patterns. For flesh color, the Clcyb.600 and Lcyb markers derived from a mutation in the Lycopene β - cyclase (Lcyb) gene, were effective at selecting red or yellow flesh. Forty-eight accessions possessing diverse fruit - related traits were selected as a reference array and their genetic relationships assessed using 16 SSR markers. At a coefficient of 0.11, the 48 accessions grouped into two major clades: Clade I and Clade II. Clade I subdivided further into subclades I - 1 and I - 2 at a coefficient of 0.39. All accessions with colored flesh were classified into Clade I, whereas those with white - flesh were classified into Clade II. Differences in fruit traits between subclades I - 1 and I - 2 were observed for rind pattern and fruit color; a majority of the accessions with Crimson-type striped or non-striped rind were grouped together in subclade I - 1, while most accessions in subclade I - 2 had a Jubilee - type rind stripe pattern. These results imply that reference array watermelon accessions possess distinguishable genetic structure based on rind stripe pattern. However, no significant grouping pattern was observed based on other fruit-related traits.

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