Developing Microsatellite Markers for Cypripedium passerinum


  • Lina Lim MacEwan University


In the age of the Anthropocene, there has been a steady and exponential decline in global plant biodiversity leading to an increase in conservation efforts. Key to an effective conservation strategy is an assessment of the genetic diversity of the vulnerable population. One of the tools to assess genetic diversity is microsatellites. Microsatellites are a type of tandem repeat found in the DNA of all eukaryotes that have proven useful in assessing genetic diversity because of their genomic abundance, high mutation rate, and resulting high levels of polymorphism. This project aimed to develop microsatellite markers for the endangered orchid, Cypripedium passerinum, to elucidate genetic variation in populations within the Wagner Natural Area in central Alberta. Fast Isolation of AFLP Sequences Containing Repeats (FIASCO) was used to generate three different microsatellite-enriched libraries using AC, AT, and AAG probes. Of the 687 clones in these libraries, 175 have been sequenced with 429 microsatellite sequences identified. Primer pairs have been developed for 13 of the identified microsatellites. Currently, these designed primer pairs are being evaluated for their ability to detect polymorphisms within the C. passerinum population at Wagner Natural Area. This project’s findings will help contribute to the existing knowledge and conservation of C. passerinum individuals within and outside of the Wagner Natural Area.

Keywords: Cypripedium passerinum, Microsatellites, Genetic Diversity, Orchids

Department: Biological Sciences

Faculty Mentor: Dr. David McFadyen






Biological Sciences