Genetic variability in sunflower (Helianthus annuus L.) and in the Helianthus genus as assessed by retrotransposon-based molecular markers.Theor Appl Genet. 2009 Oct; 119(6):1027-38.TA
The inter-retrotransposon amplified polymorphism (IRAP) protocol was applied for the first time within the genus Helianthus to assess intraspecific variability based on retrotransposon sequences among 36 wild accessions and 26 cultivars of Helianthus annuus L., and interspecific variability among 39 species of Helianthus. Two groups of LTRs, one belonging to a Copia-like retroelement and the other to a putative retrotransposon of unknown nature (SURE) have been isolated, sequenced and primers were designed to obtain IRAP fingerprints. The number of polymorphic bands in H. annuus wild accessions is as high as in Helianthus species. If we assume that a polymorphic band can be related to a retrotransposon insertion, this result suggests that retrotransposon activity continued after Helianthus speciation. Calculation of similarity indices from binary matrices (Shannon's and Jaccard's indices) show that variability is reduced among domesticated H. annuus. On the contrary, similarity indices among Helianthus species were as large as those observed among wild H. annuus accessions, probably related to their scattered geographic distribution. Principal component analysis of IRAP fingerprints allows the distinction between perennial and annual Helianthus species especially when the SURE element is concerned.