Assessing genetic diversity and population structure in a citrus germplasm collection utilizing simple sequence repeat markers (SSRs)

Theor Appl Genet. 2006 May;112(8):1519-31. doi: 10.1007/s00122-006-0255-9. Epub 2006 Apr 20.


Twenty-four simple sequence repeat (SSR) markers were used to detect molecular polymorphisms among 370 mostly sexually derived Citrus accessions from the collection of citrus germplasm maintained at the University of California, Riverside. A total of 275 alleles were detected with an average of 11.5 alleles per locus and an average polymorphism information content of 0.625. Genetic diversity statistics were calculated for each individual SSR marker, the entire population, and for specified Citrus groups. Phylogenetic relationships among all citrus accessions and putative non-hybrid Citrus accessions were determined by constructing neighbor-joining trees. There was strong support for monophyly at the species level when hybrid taxa were removed from the data set. Both of these trees indicate that Fortunella clusters within the genus Citrus but Poncirus is a sister genus to Citrus. Additionally, Citrus accessions were probabilistically assigned to populations or multiple populations if their genotype indicated an admixture by a model-based clustering approach. This approach identified five populations in this data set. These separate analyses (distance and model based) both support the hypothesis that there are only a few naturally occurring species of Citrus and most other types of Citrus arose through various hybridization events between these naturally occurring forms.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Alleles
  • Bayes Theorem
  • Chromosome Mapping
  • Chromosomes, Plant
  • Citrus / classification
  • Citrus / genetics*
  • Cluster Analysis
  • DNA, Plant / genetics
  • Genes, Plant
  • Genetic Linkage
  • Genetic Markers
  • Genetic Variation*
  • Heterozygote
  • Microsatellite Repeats*
  • Phylogeny
  • Polymorphism, Genetic
  • Sequence Analysis, DNA
  • Species Specificity


  • DNA, Plant
  • Genetic Markers