Introduction. Turkey potentially has a very rich source of sweet
(Prunus avium) and sour (P. cerasus) cherries.
P. avium is apparently native to some parts of Northern Turkey, where
Giresun is located. Identification of the sweet cherry cultivars produced in Turkey will
help in choosing appropriate cultivars and aid in the preservation of natural resources
required for breeding studies. The most conventional method of cultivar identification is
based on the assessment of morphological characteristics. However, this method is
insufficient to distinguish closely related cultivars. The aims of our study were to
determine the molecular profile of sweet cherry accessions grown in Giresun, Turkey, and
to determine their genetic relationships. Materials and methods. In our
study, we identified 44 sweet cherry accessions grown in Giresun by using genetic markers
(SSR, Simple Sequence Repeat), and we determined the genetic relationships among the sweet
cherry genotypes. For DNA isolation, we collected young leaves sampled on a single plant
per accession, then amplification of microsatellite loci was performed. In total, ten SSR
primer pairs, previously isolated from peach and sweet cherry, were used. Genetic
similarity values were calculated. A cluster analysis was performed to generate a
dendrogram. Results and discussion. Of the ten primers tested, six primer
pairs did not result in suitable amplification products with the 44 accessions studied.
The remaining four polymorphic SSR primer pairs produced 33 alleles with an average of
8.25 putative alleles per locus, ranging from 7 to 11. Depending on the accessions,
similarity ratios ranged from 0.32 to 0.98, with a mean value of 0.64. In conclusion, the
results obtained demonstrate a high level of polymorphism among sweet cherry genotypes
from a single province in Turkey.