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Open Access Research article

Mining of haplotype-based expressed sequence tag single nucleotide polymorphisms in citrus

Chunxian Chen12* and Fred G Gmitter Jr1

Author Affiliations

1 University of Florida, IFAS, Citrus Research and Education Center, 700 Experiment Station Road, Lake Alfred, FL 33850, USA

2 USDA, ARS, Southeastern Fruit and Tree Nut Research Laboratory, 21 Dunbar Road, Byron, GA 31008, USA

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BMC Genomics 2013, 14:746  doi:10.1186/1471-2164-14-746

Published: 1 November 2013



Single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs), the most abundant variations in a genome, have been widely used in various studies. Detection and characterization of citrus haplotype-based expressed sequence tag (EST) SNPs will greatly facilitate further utilization of these gene-based resources.


In this paper, haplotype-based SNPs were mined out of publicly available citrus expressed sequence tags (ESTs) from different citrus cultivars (genotypes) individually and collectively for comparison. There were a total of 567,297 ESTs belonging to 27 cultivars in varying numbers and consequentially yielding different numbers of haplotype-based quality SNPs. Sweet orange (SO) had the most (213,830) ESTs, generating 11,182 quality SNPs in 3,327 out of 4,228 usable contigs. Summed from all the individually mining results, a total of 25,417 quality SNPs were discovered – 15,010 (59.1%) were transitions (AG and CT), 9,114 (35.9%) were transversions (AC, GT, CG, and AT), and 1,293 (5.0%) were insertion/deletions (indels). A vast majority of SNP-containing contigs consisted of only 2 haplotypes, as expected, but the percentages of 2 haplotype contigs varied widely in these citrus cultivars. BLAST of the 25,417 25-mer SNP oligos to the Clementine reference genome scaffolds revealed 2,947 SNPs had “no hits found”, 19,943 had 1 unique hit / alignment, 1,571 had one hit and 2+ alignments per hit, and 956 had 2+ hits and 1+ alignment per hit. Of the total 24,293 scaffold hits, 23,955 (98.6%) were on the main scaffolds 1 to 9, and only 338 were on 87 minor scaffolds. Most alignments had 100% (25/25) or 96% (24/25) nucleotide identities, accounting for 93% of all the alignments. Considering almost all the nucleotide discrepancies in the 24/25 alignments were at the SNP sites, it served well as in silico validation of these SNPs, in addition to and consistent with the rate (81%) validated by sequencing and SNaPshot assay.


High-quality EST-SNPs from different citrus genotypes were detected, and compared to estimate the heterozygosity of each genome. All the SNP oligo sequences were aligned with the Clementine citrus genome to determine their distribution and uniqueness and for in silico validation, in addition to SNaPshot and sequencing validation of selected SNPs.

Haplotype; Heterozygosity; Polymorphism; Transition; Transversion; Insertion/deletion; Non-synonymous; Synonymous