Sequence-related amplified polymorphism markers – a tool for litchi breeders in Africa

  • Elliosha Hajari Agricultural Research Council – Tropical and Subtropical Crops, Nelspruit, South Africa https://orcid.org/0000-0003-4658-0402
  • Dzunisani Nonyane Agricultural Research Council – Tropical and Subtropical Crops, Nelspruit, South Africa
  • Regina Cronje Agricultural Research Council – Tropical and Subtropical Crops, Nelspruit, South Africa
Keywords: SRAP markers, Litchi chinensis, genetic diversity, molecular characterisation, plant breeding

Abstract

Litchi represents an economically important crop in South Africa – however, the local industry is based on only five cultivars. In order to expand the gene pool and to extend the harvest season, new cultivars have been imported. Currently, cultivars are identified based on morphological characteristics, but these are not always reliable. Molecular markers provide a tool to supplement morphological characterisation, particularly in cases in which confusion exists. The present study reports on the application of sequence-related amplified polymorphism (SRAP) markers in litchi for assessment of genetic relationships and molecular characterisation. The results provide evidence for separation of cultivars based on maturation period and fruit characteristics. The SRAP markers provide a tool for molecular characterisation that can be readily used by researchers with limited budgets, which is common in many developing countries.

Significance:

  • We report on the application of SRAP markers as a tool for litchi breeders in resource constrained countries.
  • The tested molecular markers allowed for genotyping (molecular characterisation) of litchi cultivars and selections.
  • The markers also revealed relationships between genetic and morphological (phenotypic) characteristics.
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Published
2020-07-29