, Volume 181, Issue 2, pp 237–251 | Cite as

Genetic diversity, structure and fruit trait associations in Greek sweet cherry cultivars using microsatellite based (SSR/ISSR) and morpho-physiological markers

  • Ioannis V. Ganopoulos
  • Konstantinos Kazantzis
  • Ioannis Chatzicharisis
  • Irene Karayiannis
  • Athanasios S. Tsaftaris


It is important to couple phenotypic analysis with genetic diversity for germplasm conservation in gene bank collections. The use of molecular markers supports the study of genetic marker-trait associations of biological and agronomic interest on diverse genetic material. In this report, 19 Greek traditional sweet cherry cultivars and two international cultivars, which were used as controls, were grown in Greece and characterized for 17 morpho-physiological traits, 15 simple sequence repeat (SSR) loci and 10 inter simple sequence repeat (ISSR) markers. To our knowledge, this is the first report on molecular genetic diversity studies in sweet cherry in Greece. Principal component analysis (PCA) of nine qualitative and eight quantitative morphological parameters explain over 77.33% of total variability in the first five axes. The SSR markers yielded a combined matching probability ratio (MPR) of 9.569 × e−12. The 15 SSR loci produced a total of 92 alleles. Ten ISSR primers generated 91 bands, with an average of 9.1 bands per primer. Expected heterozygosity (gene diversity) values of 15 SSR loci and 10 ISSR markers averaged at 0.683 and 0.369, respectively. Based on stepwise multiple regression analysis (MRA), SSR alleles were found associated with harvest time and fruit polar diameter. Furthermore, three ISSR markers were correlated with fruit harvest and soluble solids and four ISSR markers were correlated with fruit skin color. Stepwise MRA identified six SSR alleles associated with harvest time with a high correlation (P < 0.001), with linear associations with high F values. Hence, data analyzed by the use of MRA could be useful in marker-assisted breeding programs when no other genetic information is available.


Sweet cherry SSR/ISSR MRA Fruit association markers Morpho-physiological traits 



Simple sequence repeat


Inter simple sequence repeat


Amplified fragment length polymorphism


Random amplified polymorphic DNA


Multiple regression analysis


Matching probability ratio


Principal component analysis


Polymerase chain reaction


Quantitative trait locus



Deep thanks are due to Dr. Panagiotis Madesis and Dr. Georgios Merkouropoulos, Institute of Agrobiotechnology, for their suggestions and improvements. We also acknowledged the comments made by anonymous reviewers since the comments critically improved the manuscript. Help with statistical analysis of Mrs. Maria Ganopoulou and Pinelopi Vasiliou is greatly acknowledged. Continuous support of the Institute of Agrobiotechnology/CERTH from the General Secretariat of Research and Technology of Greece is also acknowledged.

Supplementary material

10681_2011_416_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (79 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (PDF 79 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ioannis V. Ganopoulos
    • 1
    • 2
  • Konstantinos Kazantzis
    • 3
  • Ioannis Chatzicharisis
    • 3
  • Irene Karayiannis
    • 3
  • Athanasios S. Tsaftaris
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Genetics and Plant BreedingAristotle University of ThessalonikiThessalonikiGreece
  2. 2.Institute of Agrobiotechnology (IN.A.)Center for Research and Technology Hellas (CERTH)ThermiGreece
  3. 3.Pomology InstituteNAGREFImathiaGreece

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