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1.  Mining microsatellites in the peach genome: development of new long-core SSR markers for genetic analyses in five Prunus species 
SpringerPlus  2015;4:337.
A wide inventory of molecular markers is nowadays available for individual fingerprinting. Microsatellites, or simple sequence repeats (SSRs), play a relevant role due to their relatively ease of use, their abundance in the plant genomes, and their co-dominant nature, together with the availability of primer sequences in many important agricultural crops. Microsatellites with long-core motifs are more easily scored and were adopted long ago in human genetics but they were developed only in few crops, and Prunus species are not among them. In the present work the peach whole-genome sequence was used to select 216 SSRs containing long-core motifs with tri-, tetra- and penta-nucleotide repeats. Microsatellite primer pairs were designed and tested for polymorphism in the five diploid Prunus species of economic relevance (almond, apricot, Japanese plum, peach and sweet cherry). A set of 26 microsatellite markers covering all the eight chromosomes, was also selected and used in the molecular characterization, population genetics and structure analyses of a representative sample of the five diploid Prunus species, assessing their transportability and effectiveness. The combined probability of identity between two random individuals for the whole set of 26 SSRs was quite low, ranging from 2.30 × 10−7 in peach to 9.48 × 10−10 in almond, confirming the usefulness of the proposed set for fingerprinting analyses in Prunus species.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/s40064-015-1098-0) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
doi:10.1186/s40064-015-1098-0
PMCID: PMC4497997  PMID: 26185739
P. armeniaca; P avium; P. persica; P. salicina; P. dulcis; Fingerprinting
2.  A major QTL controlling apple skin russeting maps on the linkage group 12 of ‘Renetta Grigia di Torriana’ 
BMC Plant Biology  2015;15:150.
Background
Russeting is a disorder developed by apple fruits that consists of cuticle cracking followed by the replacement of the epidermis by a corky layer that protects the fruit surface from water loss and pathogens. Although influenced by many environmental conditions and orchard management practices, russeting is under genetic control. The difficulty in classifying offspring and consequent variable segregation ratios have led several authors to conclude that more than one genetic determinant could be involved, although some evidence favours a major gene (Ru).
Results
In this study we report the mapping of a major genetic russeting determinant on linkage group 12 of apple as inferred from the phenotypic observation in a segregating progeny derived from ‘Renetta Grigia di Torriana’, the construction of a 20 K Illumina SNP chip based genetic map, and QTL analysis. Recombination analysis in two mapping populations restricted the region of interest to approximately 400 Kb. Of the 58 genes predicted from the Golden Delicious sequence, a putative ABCG family transporter has been identified. Within a small set of russeted cultivars tested with markers of the region, only six showed the same haplotype of ‘Renetta Grigia di Torriana’.
Conclusions
A major determinant (Ru_RGT) for russeting development putatively involved in cuticle organization is proposed as a candidate for controlling the trait. SNP and SSR markers tightly co-segregating with the Ru_RGT locus may assist the breeder selection. The observed segregations and the analysis of the ‘Renetta Grigia di Torriana’ haplotypic region in a panel of russeted and non-russeted cultivars may suggest the presence of other determinants for russeting in apple.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/s12870-015-0507-4) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
doi:10.1186/s12870-015-0507-4
PMCID: PMC4472412  PMID: 26084469
Malus x domestica; Russet; Mapping; Quantitative Trait Locus (QTL); Single Nucleotide Polymorphism (SNP); Infinium® Illumina SNP chip
3.  Identification and differential expression dynamics of peach small GTPases encoding genes during fruit development and ripening 
Journal of Experimental Botany  2010;61(10):2829-2842.
The function of monomeric GTPases of the RAS superfamily in fruit development and ripening has been partially characterized. Here the identification of peach (Prunus persica) small GTPases of the RAS superfamily expressed in fruit and the characterization of their expression profiles during fruit development are described. Extensive searches on expressed sequence tag (EST) databases led to the selection of a total of 24 genes from peach encoding proteins with significant similarity to Arabidopsis small GTPases. Sequence similarity analyses and identification of conserved motifs, diagnostic of specific RAS families and subfamilies, enabled bona fide assignment of fourteen PpRAB, seven PpARF/ARL/SAR, two PpROP and one PpRAN GTPases. Transcriptional expression profiles of peach monomeric GTPases, analysed by real-time quantitative reverse transcription-PCR, were obtained for mesocarp samples, collected in two consecutive years. Reproducible patterns of expression could be identified for five peach RAB-encoding genes (PpRABA1-1, PpRABA2, PpRABD2-1, PpRABD2-2, and PpRABC2), two ARFs (PpARFA1-1 and PpARLB1), and two ROPs (PpROP3 and PpROP4). Interestingly, the transient transcriptional up-regulation of PpARF genes and of PpRAB genes of the A and D clades, putatively controlling the exocytic delivery of cell wall components and modifying enzymes, appeared to coincide with peaks of growth speed and sugar accumulation and with the final phases of ripening. To our knowledge, this is the first description of the co-ordinated differential expression of a set of genes encoding small GTPases of the ARF and RAB families which takes place during key moments of fruit development and maturation.
doi:10.1093/jxb/erq116
PMCID: PMC2882273  PMID: 20501747
Fruit; GTPase; peach; ripening; trafficking; vesicle
4.  The powdery mildew resistance gene REN1 co-segregates with an NBS-LRR gene cluster in two Central Asian grapevines 
BMC Genetics  2009;10:89.
Background
Grape powdery mildew is caused by the North American native pathogen Erysiphe necator. Eurasian Vitis vinifera varieties were all believed to be susceptible. REN1 is the first resistance gene naturally found in cultivated plants of Vitis vinifera.
Results
REN1 is present in 'Kishmish vatkana' and 'Dzhandzhal kara', two grapevines documented in Central Asia since the 1920's. These cultivars have a second-degree relationship (half sibs, grandparent-grandchild, or avuncular), and share by descent the chromosome on which the resistance allele REN1 is located. The REN1 interval was restricted to 1.4 cM using 38 SSR markers distributed across the locus and the segregation of the resistance phenotype in two progenies of collectively 461 offspring, derived from either resistant parent. The boundary markers delimit a 1.4-Mbp sequence in the PN40024 reference genome, which contains 27 genes with known functions, 2 full-length coiled-coil NBS-LRR genes, and 9 NBS-LRR pseudogenes. In the REN1 locus of PN40024, NBS genes have proliferated through a mixture of segmental duplications, tandem gene duplications, and intragenic recombination between paralogues, indicating that the REN1 locus has been inherently prone to producing genetic variation. Three SSR markers co-segregate with REN1, the outer ones confining the 908-kb array of NBS-LRR genes. Kinship and clustering analyses based on genetic distances with susceptible cultivars representative of Central Asian Vitis vinifera indicated that 'Kishmish vatkana' and 'Dzhandzhal kara' fit well into local germplasm. 'Kishmish vatkana' also has a parent-offspring relationship with the seedless table grape 'Sultanina'. In addition, the distant genetic relatedness to rootstocks, some of which are derived from North American species resistant to powdery mildew and have been used worldwide to guard against phylloxera since the late 1800's, argues against REN1 being infused into Vitis vinifera from a recent interspecific hybridisation.
Conclusion
The REN1 gene resides in an NBS-LRR gene cluster tightly delimited by two flanking SSR markers, which can assist in the selection of this DNA block in breeding between Vitis vinifera cultivars. The REN1 locus has multiple layers of structural complexity compared with its two closely related paralogous NBS clusters, which are located some 5 Mbp upstream and 4 Mbp downstream of the REN1 interval on the same chromosome.
doi:10.1186/1471-2156-10-89
PMCID: PMC2814809  PMID: 20042081
5.  A set of microsatellite markers with long core repeat optimized for grape (Vitis spp.) genotyping 
BMC Plant Biology  2008;8:127.
Background
Individual fingerprinting based on molecular markers has become a popular tool for studies of population genetics and analysis of genetic diversity in germplasm collections, including the solution of synonymy/homonymy and analysis of paternity and kinship.
Genetic profiling of individuals is nowadays based on SSR (Simple Sequence Repeat) markers, which have a number of positive features that make them superior to any other molecular marker developed so far. In humans, SSRs with core repeats three to five nucleotides long are preferred because neighbour alleles are more easily separated and distinguished from each other; while in plants, SSRs with shorter repeats, namely two-nucleotides long, are still in use although they suffer lower separation of neighbour alleles and uncomfortable stuttering.
Results
New microsatellite markers, containing tri-, tetra-, and penta-nucleotide repeats, were selected from a total of 26,962 perfect microsatellites in the genome sequence of nearly homozogous grapevine PN40024, assembled from reads covering 8.4 X genome equivalents.
Long nucleotide repeats were selected for fingerprinting, as previously done in many species including humans. The new grape SSR markers were tested for their reproducibility and information content in a panel of 48 grape cultivars. Allelic segregation was tested in progenies derived from two controlled crosses.
Conclusion
A list of 38 markers with excellent quality of peaks, high power of discrimination, and uniform genome distribution (1–3 markers/chromosome), is proposed for grape genotyping. The reasons for exclusion are given for those that were discarded. The construction of marker-specific allelic ladders is also described, and their use is recommended to harmonise allelic calls and make the data obtained with different equipment and by different laboratories fully comparable.
doi:10.1186/1471-2229-8-127
PMCID: PMC2625351  PMID: 19087321
6.  Three distinct mutational mechanisms acting on a single gene underpin the origin of yellow flesh in peach 
The Plant Journal  2013;76(2):175-187.
Peach flesh color (white or yellow) is among the most popular commercial criteria for peach classification, and has implications for consumer acceptance and fruit nutritional quality. Despite the increasing interest in improving cultivars of both flesh types, little is known about the genetic basis for the carotenoid content diversity in peach. Here we describe the association between genotypes at a locus encoding the carotenoid cleavage dioxygenase 4 (PpCCD4), localized in pseudomolecule 1 of the Prunus persica reference genome sequence, and the flesh color for 37 peach varieties, including two somatic revertants, and three ancestral relatives of peach, providing definitive evidence that this locus is responsible for flesh color phenotype. We show that yellow peach alleles have arisen from various ancestral haplotypes by at least three independent mutational events involving nucleotide substitutions, small insertions and transposable element insertions, and that these mutations, despite being located within the transcribed portion of the gene, also result in marked differences in transcript levels, presumably as a consequence of differential transcript stability involving nonsense-mediated mRNA decay. The PpCCD4 gene provides a unique example of a gene for which humans, in their quest to diversify phenotypic appearance and qualitative characteristics of a fruit, have been able to select and exploit multiple mutations resulting from a variety of mechanisms.
doi:10.1111/tpj.12283
PMCID: PMC4223380  PMID: 23855972
Prunus persica L. Batsch; carotenoid cleavage dioxygenase; allelic variants; transposable element; somatic revertants; nonsense-mediated mRNA decay

Results 1-6 (6)