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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2022

Analysis of Genetic Diversity of Fescue Populations from the Highlands of Bolivia Using EST-SSR Markers

Ustariz, Karina; Geleta, Mulatu Dida; Persson Hovmalm, Helena; Ortiz, Rodomiro


In the highlands of Bolivia, native Festuca species are an important source of feed for animals due to their high tolerance to low temperatures and drought. Using simple sequence repeat (SSR) markers developed from expressed sequence tags (ESTs), the genetic diversity of 43 populations of Festuca species from Oruro, La Paz, Potosi and Cochabamba departments was evaluated for the purpose of providing information for effective conservation and breeding. In total, 64 alleles were detected across the 43 populations. SSR locus NFA 142 (with 12 alleles) had the highest number of detected alleles, while locus FES 13 (with eight alleles) had the highest polymorphism information content (PIC) at 0.55. Based on Nei’s genetic distance between populations, the unweighted pair group method with arithmetic mean (UPGMA) cluster analysis revealed two major clusters, each consisting of populations from the four departments. However, the analysis of molecular variance (AMOVA) revealed that only 5% of the total variation separated these two groups, indicating low genetic differentiation between the populations. It was also found that there was a low but significant differentiation (0.08%) between the population groups of the four departments (p = 0.01). The newly developed EST-SSR markers are highly valuable for evaluating the genetic diversity of Bolivian fescues and other related species.


Andes; Bolivia; fescue; genetic diversity; EST-SSR markers; microsatellites

Published in

2022, Volume: 13, number: 12, article number: 2311