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Cross-species amplification of microsatellite loci developed for Digitaria exilis Stapf in related Digitaria species

Ablaye Ngom1, 2, 3*, Mame Codou Gueye4, Mathieu Gueye5, Claire Billot6,7, Caroline Calatayud6,7, Baye Magatte Diop4, Ndjido Ardo Kane2, 3, Marie Piquet3, 8, Yves Vigouroux8, Leila Zekraoui3, 8, Mame Samba Mbaye1, Kandioura Noba1, Adeline Barnaud2, 3, 8

Objectives : Digitaria exilis Stapf (white fonio) is a staple crop in West Africa, mainly consumed during food shortage and highly associated to cultural events. The aim of this study was to test the transferability of microsatellite loci developed for D. exilis to other species of the genus Digitaria in order to further investigate the diversity of species for which there is little genomic resources available.

Methodology and Results : Eight (8) microsatellite loci on 119 accessions from 39 Digitaria species were tested.
With an average amplification percentage of 62.8% ranging from 25% to 100 %, these SSR markers are transferable to other species of the genus Digitaria. The transferability was higher for D. argyrothrica, D. fuscescens, D. longiflora, D. milanjiana and D. ternata. In some species such as D. abyssinica, D. nuda, D.
pennata, D. pseudodiagonalis and D. tisserantii, the very low percentage of cross-amplification confirmed their distance from D. exilis. D. longiflora, thought as the most related wild species to D. exilis, exhibited 100% level
of transferable polymorphic loci.

Conclusion and application of findings : This set of markers will be useful for breeding and studying
relationships between Digitaria species.

Keywords  : Cross-species amplification, Digitaria, genetic diversity, microsatellite loci.