Suitability of a selected set of simple sequence repeats (SSR) markers for multiplexing and rapid molecular characterization of African rice (Oryza glaberrima Steud.)
African rice (Oryza glaberrima) was neglected for a long time by researchers but gained attention with the success of NERICA varieties. While AfricaRice holds a collection of about 2,500 O. glaberrima samples only four accessions have been used as NERICA parents. This collection needs to be characterized using rice descriptors and molecular markers to fully exploit the whole diversity of this species. To allow a quick and accurate molecular characterization of African rice, a set of 30 SSR markers were identified and tested on a subset of 74 African rice samples. The results showed that these markers were highly polymorphic, could be multiplexed in 8 panels without overlapping alleles and were able to distinguish the genetic groups of African rice; the two major ecotypes and intermediates between Oryza sativa and O. glaberrima species.
Key words: Rice, Oryza glaberrima, simple sequence repeats (SSR) markers, genetic diversity, NERICA (New Rice for Africa).