Fragaria vesca is a short-lived perennial with a seasonal-flowering habit. Seasonality of flowering is widespread in the Rosaceae and is also found in the majority of temperate polycarpic perennials. Genetic analysis has shown that seasonal flowering is controlled by a single gene in F. vesca, the SEASONAL FLOWERING LOCUS ( SFL). Here, we report progress towards the marker-assisted selection and positional cloning of SFL, in which three ISSR markers linked to SFL were converted to locus-specific sequence-characterized amplified region (SCAR1-SCAR3) markers to allow large-scale screening of mapping progenies. We believe this is the first study describing the development of SCAR markers from ISSR profiles. The work also provides useful insight into the nature of polymorphisms generated by the ISSR marker system. Our results indicate that the ISSR polymorphisms originally detected were probably caused by point mutations in the positions targeted by primer anchors (causing differential PCR failure), by indels within the amplicon (leading to variation in amplicon size) and by internal sequence differences (leading to variation in DNA folding and so in band mobility). The cause of the original ISSR polymorphism was important in the selection of appropriate strategies for SCAR-marker development. The SCAR markers produced were mapped using a F. vesca f. vesca x F. vesca f. semperflorens testcross population. Marker SCAR2 was inseparable from the SFL, whereas SCAR1 mapped 3.0 cM to the north of the gene and SCAR3 1.7 cM to its south.
Copyright 2004 Springer-Verlag