In sweet potato, an anti-virus defense mechanism termed reversion has been postulated to lead to virus freedom from once infected plants. The objectives of this study were to identify anti-virus defense genes and evaluate their segregation in progenies. Reference genes from different plant species were used to assemble transcript sequences of each sweet potato defense gene in silico. Sequences were used for evaluate phylogenetic relationships with similar genes from different plant species, mining respective defense genes and thereafter developing simple sequence repeats (SSRs) for segregation analysis. Eight potential defense genes were identified: RNA dependent RNA polymerases 1, 2, 5, and 6; Argonaute 1, and Dicer-like 1, 2, and 4. Identified genes were differentially related to those of other plants and were observed on different chromosomes. The defense genes contained mono-, di-, tri-, tetra, penta-, and hexa-nucleotide repeat motifs. The SSR markers within progenies were segregated in disomic, co-segregation, nullisomic, monosomic, and trisomic modes. These findings indicate the possibility of deriving and utilizing SSRs using published genomic information. Furthermore, and given that the SSR markers were derived from known genes on defined chromosomes, this work will contribute to future molecular breeding and development of resistance gene analogs in this economically important crop.
Key words: In silico, segregation, simple sequence repeats (SSR) markers, sweet potato defense genes, virus.
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