Molecular markers are powerful tools for analyzing genome diversity within a species, and to evaluate genetic relationships between individuals and populations. Among them, microsatellites (SSRs) are one of the most important polymorphic markers that can be used effectively to distinguish germplasm accessions. These markers present high informative content due to their codominant inheritance, multiallelism, mendelian pattern and good genome coverage. The enrichment methodology for microsatellite development has a superior efficiency in plants, especially when performed using biotin-labeled microsatellite oligoprobes and streptavidin-coated magnetic beads. The development of EST-SSR markers has become a fast and relatively inexpensive way but it is limited to species for which this type of database exists. Given the high polymorphism level of microsatellites when compared to other markers, SSRs have been used to study population structure, for genetic diversity analysis, genetic mapping and marker assisted selection.
common bean; genetic diversity; microsatellites; plant breeding