Background: Polymorphic microsatellite markers were developed for Gaultheria pumila (Ericaceae) to evaluate genetic diversity and population structure within its native range in Chile. This is a very important Ericaceae endemic to Chile with a large commercial potential. Its resistance to different abiotic conditions makes it a valuable target for genetic improvement.
Results: Ten polymorphic simple sequence repeat (SSR) loci were isolated from Gaultheria pumila using new-generation 454 FLX Titanium pyrosequencing technology. The mean number of alleles per locus ranged from 2 to 4. Observed and expected heterozygosity ranged from 0.00 to 1.0 and 0.00 to 0.64, respectively.
Conclusions: From 10 SSR markers developed for G. pumila, 9 markers are promising candidates for analyzing genetic variation within or between natural populations of G. pumila and other species from the same genus.
Keywords: Chilean berry; Gaultheria pumila; Microsatellite; Pyrosequencing.