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Open Access Highly Accessed Open Badges Research article

Developmenrt of EST-SSR and genomic-SSR markers to assess genetic diversity in Jatropha Curcas L.

Mingfu Wen12, Haiyan Wang1, Zhiqiang Xia1, Meiling Zou1, Cheng Lu1 and Wenquan Wang1*

Author Affiliations

1 Institute of Tropical Biosciences & Biotechnology, Chinese Academy of Tropical Agricultural Science, 571101, Haikou, Hainan, PR China

2 College of Agronomy, Hainan University, 571737, Danzhou, Hainan, PR China

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BMC Research Notes 2010, 3:42  doi:10.1186/1756-0500-3-42

Published: 24 February 2010



Jatropha curcas L. has attracted a great deal of attention worldwide, regarding its potential as a new biodiesel crop. However, the understanding of this crop remains very limited and little genomic research has been done. We used simple sequence repeat (SSR) markers that could be transferred from Manihot esculenta (cassava) to analyze the genetic relationships among 45 accessions of J. curcas from our germplasm collection.


In total, 187 out of 419 expressed sequence tag (EST)-SSR and 54 out of 182 genomic (G)-SSR markers from cassava were polymorphic among the J. curcas accessions. The EST-SSR markers comprised 26.20% dinucleotide repeats, 57.75% trinucleotide repeats, 7.49% tetranucleotide repeats, and 8.56% pentanucleotide repeats, whereas the majority of the G-SSR markers were dinucleotide repeats (62.96%). The 187 EST-SSRs resided in genes that are involved mainly in biological and metabolic processes. Thirty-six EST-SSRs and 20 G-SSRs were chosen to analyze the genetic diversity among 45 J. curcas accessions. A total of 183 polymorphic alleles were detected. On the basis of the distribution of these polymorphic alleles, the 45 accessions were classified into six groups, in which the genotype showed a correlation with geographic origin. The estimated mean genetic diversity index was 0.5572, which suggests that our J. curcas germplasm collection has a high level of genetic diversity. This should facilitate subsequent studies on genetic mapping and molecular breeding.


We identified 241 novel EST-SSR and G-SSR markers in J. curcas, which should be useful for genetic mapping and quantitative trait loci analysis of important agronomic traits. By using these markers, we found that the intergroup gene diversity of J. curcas was greater than the intragroup diversity, and that the domestication of the species probably occurred partly in America and partly in Hainan, China.