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Research article2021Peer reviewedOpen access

Towards a Joint International Database: Alignment of SSR Marker Data for European Collections of Cherry Germplasm

Ordidge, Matthew; Litthauer, Suzanne; Venison, Edward; Blouin-Delmas, Marine; Fernandez-Fernandez, Felicidad; Hoefer, Monika; Kaegi, Christina; Kellerhals, Markus; Marchese, Annalisa; Mariette, Stephanie; Nybom, Hilde; Giovannini, Daniela


The objective of our study was the alignment of microsatellite or simple sequence repeat (SSR) marker data across germplasm collections of cherry within Europe. Through the European Cooperative program for Plant Genetic Resources ECPGR, a number of European germplasm collections had previously been analysed using standard sets of SSR loci. However, until now these datasets remained unaligned. We used a combination of standard reference genotypes and ad-hoc selections to compile a central dataset representing as many alleles as possible from national datasets produced in France, Great Britain, Germany, Italy, Sweden and Switzerland. Through the comparison of alleles called in data from replicated samples we were able to create a series of alignment factors, supported across 448 different allele calls, that allowed us to align a dataset of 2241 SSR profiles from six countries. The proportion of allele comparisons that were either in agreement with the alignment factor or confounded by null alleles ranged from 67% to 100% and this was further improved by the inclusion of a series of allele-specific adjustments. The aligned dataset allowed us to identify groups of previously unknown matching accessions and to identify and resolve a number of errors in the prior datasets. The combined and aligned dataset represents a significant step forward in the co-ordinated management of field collections of cherry in Europe.


Prunus avium; sweet cherry; SSR; microsatellite; germplasm; genetic resource

Published in

2021, Volume: 10, number: 6, article number: 1243
Publisher: MDPI

    UKÄ Subject classification

    Genetics and Breeding

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