Microsatellite association with seed protein content and flowering time in Nigerian cowpea cultivars
Cowpea microsatellites were evaluated for their potential to be used as markers associated with seed protein content and plant flowering time. Seeds with high and low protein content as well as plants with early and late flowering time were selected from 104 Nigerian cowpea accessions. Fifteen (15) microsatellite primer pairs were tested for amplification of microsatellite sequences using PCR and seven pairs amplified a single-locus. Sequence analysis showed a high level of diversity between the analysed genotypes. Although, none of the microsatellites allowed clustering for protein content, one primer pair, VM68, detected a (AG)12-repeat microsatellite allele, which was present only in plants with late flowering. This microsatellite might possibly be useful as a marker associated with late-flowering time.
Key words: Cowpea, microsatellite, protein content, flowering time.