The tea plant (Camellia sinensis (L.) O. Kuntze) is one of the most popular non-alcoholic beverage crops worldwide. The availability of complete genome sequences for the Camellia sinensis var. ‘Shuchazao’ has provided the opportunity to identify all types of simple sequence repeat (SSR) markers by genome-wide scan. In this study, a total of 667,980 SSRs were identified in the ~?3.08 Gb genome, with an overall density of 216.88 SSRs/Mb. Dinucleotide repeats were predominant among microsatellites (72.25%), followed by trinucleotide repeats (15.35%), while the remaining SSRs accounted for less than 13%. The motif AG/CT (49.96%) and AT/TA (40.14%) were the most and the second most abundant among all identified SSR motifs, respectively; meanwhile, AAT/ATT (41.29%) and AAAT/ATTT (67.47%) were the most common among trinucleotides and tetranucleotides, respectively. A total of 300 primer pairs were designed to screen six tea cultivars for polymorphisms of SSR markers using the five selected repeat types of microsatellite sequences. The resulting 96 SSR markers that yielded polymorphic and unambiguous bands were further deployed on 47 tea cultivars for genetic diversity assessment, demonstrating high polymorphism of these SSR markers. Remarkably, the dendrogram revealed that the phylogenetic relationships among these tea cultivars are highly consistent with their genetic backgrounds or places of origin. The identified genome-wide SSRs and newly developed SSR markers will provide a powerful means for genetic researches in tea plant, including genetic diversity and evolutionary origin analysis, fingerprinting, QTL mapping, and marker-assisted selection for breeding.
Journal: Molecular breeding