Only a limited number of simple sequence repeat (SSR) markers is available for the genome of garlic (Allium sativum L.) despite the fact that SSR markers have become one of the most preferred DNA marker systems. To develop new SSR markers for the garlic genome, garlic expressed sequence tags (ESTs) at the publicly available GarlicEST database were screened for SSR motifs and a total of 132 SSR motifs were identified. Primer pairs were designed for 50 SSR motifs and 24 of these primer pairs were selected as SSR markers based on their consistent amplification patterns and polymorphisms. In addition, two SSR markers were developed from the sequences of garlic cDNA-AFLP fragments. The use of 26 EST-SSR markers for the assessment of genetic relationship was tested using 31 garlic genotypes. Twenty six EST-SSR markers amplified 130 polymorphic DNA fragments and the number of polymorphic alleles per SSR marker ranged from 2 to 13 with an average of 5 alleles. Observed heterozygosity and polymorphism information content (PIC) of the SSR markers were between 0.23 and 0.88, and 0.20 and 0.87, respectively. Twenty one out of the 31 garlic genotypes were analyzed in a previous study using AFLP markers and the garlic genotypes clustered together with AFLP markers were also grouped together with EST-SSR markers demonstrating high concordance between AFLP and EST-SSR marker systems and possible immediate application of EST-SSR markers for fingerprinting of garlic clones. EST-SSR markers could be used in genetic studies such as genetic mapping, association mapping, genetic diversity and comparison of the genomes of Allium species.
Olive (Olea europaea L.) production in the world has been made by using many cultivars, and the genetic uniformity of commercial cultivars is important for standard olive oil and table olive production. The genetic variation among and within commonly cultivated olive cultivars in Turkey was analyzed using SSR markers. A total of 135 leaf samples were collected from 11 commonly cultivated olive cultivars from 11 provinces in four geographical regions of Turkey. Seven SSR primer pairs generated 46 SSR markers, and the number of SSR markers per primer pair ranged from 4 (UDO-14) to 9 (GAPU-89) with an average of 6.57. This high level of SSR polymorphism suggests that olive production in Turkey has been made using genetically diverse olive cultivars and this high level of genetic variation is probably due to the location of Turkey in the center of the origin of olive. The UPGMA dendrogram, developed to visualize the estimated genetic relationships among the 135 samples, demonstrated that the clustering of olive cultivars was not based on geographical regions of cultivation. Presence of genetic variation was detected within a nationwide grown Turkish olive cultivar, called 'Gemlik'. Olive growers successfully discriminated olive cultivars with distinct morphological and pomological characters. However, there was some confusion about the identification of cultivars with similar phenotypic traits. To prevent misidentification of olive cultivars and to minimize intra-cultivar variation, certified propagation materials which were characterized using DNA based molecular markers should be used during the establishment of new olive orchards.