Background: Sugar maple (Acer saccharum Marsh.) is a hardwood tree species native to northeastern North America and economically valued for its wood and sap. Yet, few molecular genetic resources have been developed for this species to date. Microsatellite markers have been a useful tool in population genetics, e.g., to monitor genetic variation and to analyze gene flow patterns. The objective of this study is to develop a reference transcriptome and microsatellite markers in sugar maple. Findings: A set of 117,861 putative unique transcripts were assembled using 29.2 Gb of RNA sequencing data derived from different tissues and stress treatments. From this set of sequences a total of 1068 microsatellite motifs were identified. Out of 58 genic microsatellite markers tested on a population of 47 sugar maple trees in upper Michigan, 22 amplified well, of which 16 were polymorphic and 6 were monomorphic. Values for expected heterozygosity varied from 0.224 to 0.726 for individual loci. Of the 16 polymorphic markers, 15 exhibited transferability to other Acer L. species. Conclusions: Genic microsatellite markers can be applied to analyze genetic variation in potentially adaptive genes relative to genomic reference markers as a basis for the management of sugar maple genetic resources in the face of climate change.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology