Date of Graduation

Spring 2018


Master of Science in Plant Science (Agriculture)


College of Agriculture

Committee Chair

Chin-Feng Hwang


simple sequence repeat (SSR), microsatellite, black walnut, tree breeding, and marker-assisted selection

Subject Categories

Plant Breeding and Genetics | Plant Sciences


Eastern black walnut (Juglans nigra L.) production stands on the brink of potentially great market expansion that can only be realized if tree improvement increases such that commercial production becomes feasible. Breeding black walnut for thinner shell, disease resistance, and predictable nut yield are just three of the many agronomically important traits that could be improved using marker-assisted selection (MAS). The goal of this study was to incorporate microsatellite markers to characterize (genotype) 11 cultivars and establish a mapping population from a cross between ‘Football’ and ‘Sparrow’ (Ft x Sp). Phenology of these two cultivars coupled with marker characteristics and phylogenetic analysis support the notion of a cross between these two to yield superior hybrids. Of the 51 simple sequence repeat (SSR) markers screened, 23 were polymorphic and useful for genotyping. A synonym was identified, and the final number of cultivars is now 10. Furthermore, seven of the 23 markers were used to identify 63 intraspecific hybrids of the cross ‘Football’ x ‘Sparrow’, thereby establishing the first mapping population of black walnut using SSR markers.


© Steven Jacob Schneider Jr.

Open Access