Premise: Ferula sadleriana (Apiaceae) is a polycarpic, perennial herb with a very limited range and small populations. It is listed as "endangered" on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Microsatellite markers can contribute to conservation efforts by allowing the study of the genetic structure of its shrinking populations.
Methods and results: We used a microsatellite-enriched library combined with an Illumina sequencing approach to develop simple sequence repeat markers in our target species. Out of 44 tested primer pairs, 22 provided specific products, and 13 showed heterologous amplification in the target species. Cross-species amplification was achieved at 20 and 19 loci in two congeneric species, F. soongarica and F. tatarica, respectively.
Conclusions: The primers described here are the first tools that enable the population genetic characterization of F. sadleriana. Our results suggest a wider applicability in the genus Ferula.