Research Article

Development of SNP markers and their application for genetic diversity analysis in the oil palm (Elaeis guineensis)

Published: October 09, 2015
Genet. Mol. Res. 14 (4) : 12205-12216 DOI: 10.4238/2015.October.9.9

Abstract

The genetic evaluation of oil palm germplasm collections is required for insight into the variability among populations. The information obtained is also useful for incorporating new genetic materials into current breeding programs. Single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) have been widely used in many plant genetic studies due to the availability of large numbers of genomic sequences and expressed sequence tags. The present study examined 219 oil palms collected from two natural Angolan populations, a few hundred kilometers apart. A total of 62 SNPs were designed from oil palm genomic sequences and converted to cleaved amplified polymorphic sequence (CAPS). Of these, nine were found to be informative across the two populations. The nine informative SNPs revealed mean major allele frequency of 0.693. The average expected and observed heterozygosities were 0.398 and 0.400, respectively. The mean polymorphism information content was 0.315 (ranging between 0.223 and 0.375). None of the loci deviated from Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium and no rare alleles were detected. In cluster analysis using unweighted pair group method with arithmetic, the 219 oil palms fell into two clusters. This was further supported by the population structure analysis result (K = 2), suggesting that the samples were divided into two main genetic groups. However, the two groups did not coincide with the geographic populations. Analysis of molecular variance indicated that within-population variation contributed 93% of the total genetic variation. This study showed that SNP-based CAPS markers are useful for studying the genetic diversity of oil palm and have potential application for marker-trait association studies.

The genetic evaluation of oil palm germplasm collections is required for insight into the variability among populations. The information obtained is also useful for incorporating new genetic materials into current breeding programs. Single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) have been widely used in many plant genetic studies due to the availability of large numbers of genomic sequences and expressed sequence tags. The present study examined 219 oil palms collected from two natural Angolan populations, a few hundred kilometers apart. A total of 62 SNPs were designed from oil palm genomic sequences and converted to cleaved amplified polymorphic sequence (CAPS). Of these, nine were found to be informative across the two populations. The nine informative SNPs revealed mean major allele frequency of 0.693. The average expected and observed heterozygosities were 0.398 and 0.400, respectively. The mean polymorphism information content was 0.315 (ranging between 0.223 and 0.375). None of the loci deviated from Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium and no rare alleles were detected. In cluster analysis using unweighted pair group method with arithmetic, the 219 oil palms fell into two clusters. This was further supported by the population structure analysis result (K = 2), suggesting that the samples were divided into two main genetic groups. However, the two groups did not coincide with the geographic populations. Analysis of molecular variance indicated that within-population variation contributed 93% of the total genetic variation. This study showed that SNP-based CAPS markers are useful for studying the genetic diversity of oil palm and have potential application for marker-trait association studies.