U.S. Department of Agriculture: Agricultural Research Service, Lincoln, Nebraska




Date of this Version



Springer Nature B.V. 2019


(https://doi.org/10.1007/s10722-019-00815-4) Genet Resour Crop Evol (2019) 66:1371–1377


Spanish lime (Melicoccus bijugatus Jacq.) is aNeotropical fruit tree cultivated, mainly, in orchards for self-consumption or local sale. The genus Melicoccus includes other nine species with edible fruits, some of these species are at risk of extinction. Like for the vast majority of tropical fruit trees, there is no information on the genetic diversity of Spanish lime and its related species, and this is mostly due to the lack of molecular markers. The objectives of this study were to present the first microsatellite markers developed for Spanish lime, testing its usefulness on a sample of cultivated accessions, as well as its transferability to Huaya India (M. oliviformis). To do this, we performed high-throughput sequencing of microsatellite-enriched libraries of Spanish lime using Roche 454, assembled 9567 DNA contig sequences and identified 10,117 microsatellites. After screening 384 of those microsatellites on four DNA samples, 31 polymorphic markers were used to screen 25 accessions of Spanish lime and five of Huaya India collected in Yucatan, Mexico. Genetic diversity was low in Spanish lime (A = 20.61, HE = 0.38) and similar for both sexes of this species. Neighbor-Joining and PCoA analyses clearly discriminated between the two Melicoccus species studied. Nine of the markers showed unique alleles for Huaya India. The set of microsatellite markers developed has a great potential to generate information in relation to conservation genetics, improvement of elite cultivars and breeding programs for Spanish lime and related species.