An enriched microsatellite library of the mangrove species Avicennia marina was constructed, in which 85.8% of the clones contained microsatellite sequences. Of the microsatellite repeat sequences isolated, 55.0% were di-nucleotides, 34.2% were tri-nucleotides, 50.0% were perfect, 24.2% were imperfect, and 15.0% were compound. Four different di-nucleotide repeats were isolated with repeat lengths ranging from 5 to 33; ten different tri-nucleotide repeats were isolated with repeat lengths ranging from 3 to 25. The most common di-nucleotide was the AC/TG repeat; the most common tri-nucleotide was the CCG/GGC repeat. Sixteen microsatellite sequences were selected for primer design, and 6 primers were selected to investigate the polymorphism detected among 15 individuals of A. marina from three natural populations in Australia. A total of 40 alleles were detected at 6 microsatellite loci. The number of alleles per microsatellite locus ranged from 5 to 13. On average, 7 alleles were detected per locus. All microsatellite loci showed high levels of gene diversity (heterozygosity), with values ranging from 0.53 to 0.88; the mean value of gene diversity was 0.70. Microsatellite loci were also tested for conservation across Avicennia species. There was a decline in amplification success with increasing divergence between Avicennia species. The results indicate that microsatellites are abundant in the Avicennia genome and can be valuable genetic markers for assessing the effects of deforestation and forest fragmentation in mangrove communities, which is an important issue for mangrove conservation and afforestation schemes
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