Journal of Genetics

, Volume 97, Issue 5, pp 1339–1351 | Cite as

Genetic diversity and cultivar variants in the NCGR cranberry (Vaccinium macrocarpon Aiton) collection

  • B. Schlautman
  • G. Covarrubias-Pazaran
  • L. Rodriguez-Bonilla
  • K. Hummer
  • N. Bassil
  • T. Smith
  • J. ZalapaEmail author
Research Article


The American cranberry (Vaccinium macrocarpon) is an endemic domesticated species that has become an economically important commercial fruit crop. The USDA-ARS National Clonal Germplasm Repository (NCGR) houses the national Vaccinium collection, which includes representatives of historical cranberry cultivars and wild-selected germplasm. The objective of this study was to examine the genotypes of 271 cranberry plants from 77 accessions representing 66 named cultivars using 12 simple-sequence repeats to assess clonal purity and cultivar relatedness. Using principal components analysis and neighbour-joining based on estimated genetic distances between individuals, we identified 64 unique genotypes and observed that intracultivar variants (i.e. subclones) existed in the germplasm collection and in the commercial bogs where some accessions originated. Finally, through a comparison of the genotypes of this study with the previous studies, pedigree analysis and the study of the geographic distribution of cranberry diversity, we identified consensus genotypes for many accessions and cultivars. We highlight the important role that the NCGR collection plays for ex situ conservation of cranberry germplasm for future breeders and researchers. The NCGR continues to search for historically relevant cultivars absent from the collection in an effort to preserve these genotypes before they are lost and no longer commercially grown.


genetic resources ex situ conservation wild selections microsatellites simple sequence repeats consensus genotypes 



This project was supported by USDA-ARS (project no. 3655-21220-001-00 and 5090-21220-004-00 provided to JZ); WI-DATCP (SCBG Project no. 14-002); National Science Foundation (DBI-1228280); Ocean Spray Cranberries, Inc.; Wisconsin Cranberry Growers Association; Cranberry Institute. B.S. was supported by the Frank B. Koller Cranberry Fellowship for Graduate Students. LRB was supported through the UW Madison, SciMed GRS. GCP was supported by the Consejo Nacional de Ciencia y Tecnología (CONACYT, Mexico). We thank Eric Weisman, Emily Gustin, Tiffany Bougie and Tierney Bougie for their help in the lab. JZ and BS wish to express their gratitude through PS:30:12. We thank all the anonymous reviewers who helped enhance the quality of this paper.

Supplementary material

12041_2018_1036_MOESM1_ESM.docx (26 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (docx 26 KB)


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Copyright information

© Indian Academy of Sciences 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • B. Schlautman
    • 1
    • 2
  • G. Covarrubias-Pazaran
    • 2
  • L. Rodriguez-Bonilla
    • 2
  • K. Hummer
    • 3
  • N. Bassil
    • 3
  • T. Smith
    • 4
  • J. Zalapa
    • 2
    • 5
    Email author
  1. 1.The Land InstituteSalinaUSA
  2. 2.Department of HorticultureUniversity of WisconsinMadisonUSA
  3. 3.USDA-ARS National Clonal Germplasm RepositoryCorvallisUSA
  4. 4.Agriculture and Agri-Food CanadaOttawaCanada
  5. 5.USDA, Agricultural Research Service, Vegetable Crops Research UnitMadisonUSA

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