Recent increase in the availability of expressed sequence tag (EST) data has facilitated the development of microsatellite markers in a number of plant species, including grapevine. We identified 23 ESTs containing perfect simple sequence repeats (EST-SSR) of di-, tri-, tetra-, and penta-nucleotide type from 506 expressed sequence tags (EST) transcribed during berry development in 'Cabernet Sauvignon'. Sixteen ESTs that contain SSRs at least 14 bp long were selected, and specific primers were developed and tested on five accessions. Thirteen produced a clear and strong amplification. Eight primer pairs revealed higher variation and were further studied on 19 grapevine accessions, including Vitis vinifera cultivars and different Vitis species. These eight loci showed transferability across the studied germplasm and good polymorphism both at cultivar level and among Vitis spp. Our results indicated that EST-SSR are valuable genetic markers for Vitis vinifera and have high potential use for comparative mapping.
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