Agronomy and Horticulture Department


Date of this Version



Genet Resour Crop Evol


U.S. government work.


Danthonia spicata (L.) Beauv., commonly known as poverty oatgrass, is a perennial bunch-type grass native to North America. D. spicata is often found in low input turfgrass areas on the East Coast of the United States and has potential for development as a new native low input turfgrass species. Roche 454 sequenced randomly sheared genomic DNA reads of D. spicata were mined for SSR markers using the MIcroSAtellite identification tool. A total of 66,553 singlet sequences (approximately 37.5 Mbp) were examined, and 3454 SSR markers were identified. Trinucleotide motifs with greater than six repeats and possessing unique PCR priming sites within the genome, as determined by Primer-BLAST, were evaluated visually for heterozygosity and mutation consistent with stepwise evolution using CLC Genomics software. Sixty-three candidate markers were selected for testing from the trinucleotide SSR marker sites meeting these in silico criteria. Ten primer pairs that amplified polymorphic loci in preliminary experiments were used to screen 91 individual plants composed of at least 3–5 plants from each of 23 different locations. The primer pairs amplified 54 alleles ranging in size from 71 to 246 bp. Minimum and maximum numbers of alleles per locus were two and 12, respectively, with an average of 5.4. A dendrogram generated by unweighted pair group method with arithmetic mean cluster analysis using the Jaccard’s similarity coefficient was in agreement with the grouping obtained by Structure v2.3. The analyses were dominated by clonal groupings and lack evidence for gene flow with some alleles present in a single plant from a single location. Fourteen multilocus genotype groups were observed providing strong evidence for asexual reproduction in the studied D. spicata populations.