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1.  The evolutionary history of Antirrhinum in the Pyrenees inferred from phylogeographic analyses 
The origin and colonisation history after the Quaternary ice ages remain largely unresolved for many plant lineages, mainly owing to a lack of fine-scale studies. Here, we present a molecular phylogeny and a phylogeographic analysis of Antirrhinum, an important model system in plant biology, in the Pyrenees range. Our goal was to reconstruct the evolutionary and colonisation history of four taxa endemic to this region (A. majus subsp. majus, A. majus. subsp. striatum, A. molle, and A. sempervirens) by using a dense sampling strategy, with a total of 452 individuals from 99 populations whose collective distribution spans nearly the entirety of the Pyrenees and adjacent mountains.
Phylogenetic and phylogeographic analyses of the sequences of two plastid (trnS-trnG and trnK-matK) regions revealed the following: (i) historical relationship between the Pyrenees and Iberia (but not with the Alps); (ii) the long persistence of populations in the Pyrenees, at least since the Late Pleistocene; (iii) three different colonisation histories for populations from the Western, Central, and Eastern Pyrenees; (iv) the deep phylogeographic separation of the eastern and western populations; and (v) the colonisation of southern France from the Eastern Pyrenees.
The present study underlines the enormous influence of the glacial history of the mountain ranges on the current configuration of intra- and inter-specific genetic diversity in Antirrhinum, as well as the importance of periglacial areas for the survival of species during glacial periods of the Quaternary.
PMCID: PMC4099501  PMID: 24970688
Antirrhinum; Phylogeny; Phylogeography; Pyrenees; Quaternary
2.  Genetic linkage map of a wild genome: genomic structure, recombination and sexual dimorphism in bighorn sheep 
BMC Genomics  2010;11:524.
The construction of genetic linkage maps in free-living populations is a promising tool for the study of evolution. However, such maps are rare because it is difficult to develop both wild pedigrees and corresponding sets of molecular markers that are sufficiently large. We took advantage of two long-term field studies of pedigreed individuals and genomic resources originally developed for domestic sheep (Ovis aries) to construct a linkage map for bighorn sheep, Ovis canadensis. We then assessed variability in genomic structure and recombination rates between bighorn sheep populations and sheep species.
Bighorn sheep population-specific maps differed slightly in contiguity but were otherwise very similar in terms of genomic structure and recombination rates. The joint analysis of the two pedigrees resulted in a highly contiguous map composed of 247 microsatellite markers distributed along all 26 autosomes and the X chromosome. The map is estimated to cover about 84% of the bighorn sheep genome and contains 240 unique positions spanning a sex-averaged distance of 3051 cM with an average inter-marker distance of 14.3 cM. Marker synteny, order, sex-averaged interval lengths and sex-averaged total map lengths were all very similar between sheep species. However, in contrast to domestic sheep, but consistent with the usual pattern for a placental mammal, recombination rates in bighorn sheep were significantly greater in females than in males (~12% difference), resulting in an autosomal female map of 3166 cM and an autosomal male map of 2831 cM. Despite differing genome-wide patterns of heterochiasmy between the sheep species, sexual dimorphism in recombination rates was correlated between orthologous intervals.
We have developed a first-generation bighorn sheep linkage map that will facilitate future studies of the genetic architecture of trait variation in this species. While domestication has been hypothesized to be responsible for the elevated mean recombination rate observed in domestic sheep, our results suggest that it is a characteristic of Ovis species. However, domestication may have played a role in altering patterns of heterochiasmy. Finally, we found that interval-specific patterns of sexual dimorphism were preserved among closely related Ovis species, possibly due to the conserved position of these intervals relative to the centromeres and telomeres. This study exemplifies how transferring genomic resources from domesticated species to close wild relative can benefit evolutionary ecologists while providing insights into the evolution of genomic structure and recombination rates of domesticated species.
PMCID: PMC3091677  PMID: 20920197
3.  A putative autonomous 20.5 kb-CACTA transposon insertion in an F3'H allele identifies a new CACTA transposon subfamily in Glycine max 
BMC Plant Biology  2008;8:124.
The molecular organization of very few genetically defined CACTA transposon systems have been characterized thoroughly as those of Spm/En in maize, Tam1 of Antirrhinum majus Candystripe1 (Cs1) from Sorghum bicolor and CAC1 from Arabidopsis thaliana, for example. To date, only defective deletion derivatives of CACTA elements have been described for soybean, an economically important plant species whose genome sequence will be completed in 2008.
We identified a 20.5 kb insertion in a soybean flavonoid 3'-hydroxylase (F3'H) gene representing the t* allele (stable gray trichome color) whose origin traces to a single mutable chimeric plant displaying both tawny and gray trichomes. This 20.5 kb insertion has the molecular structure of a putative autonomous transposon of the CACTA family, designated Tgmt*. It encodes a large gene that was expressed in two sister isolines (T* and tm) of the stable gray line (t*) from which Tgmt* was isolated. RT-PCR derived cDNAs uncovered the structure of a large precursor mRNA as well as alternatively spliced transcripts reminiscent of the TNPA-mRNA generated by the En-1 element of maize but without sequence similarity to the maize TNPA. The larger mRNA encodes a transposase with a tnp2 and TNP1-transposase family domains. Because the two soybean lines expressing Tgmt* were derived from the same mutable chimeric plant that created the stable gray trichome t* allele line from which the element was isolated, Tgmt* has the potential to be an autonomous element that was rapidly inactivated in the stable gray trichome t* line. Comparison of Tgmt* to previously described Tgm elements demonstrated that two subtypes of CACTA transposon families exist in soybean based on divergence of their characteristic subterminal repeated motifs and their transposases. In addition, we report the sequence and annotation of a BAC clone containing the F3'H gene (T locus) which was interrupted by the novel Tgmt* element in the gray trichome allele t*.
The molecular characterization of a 20.5 kb insertion in the flavonoid 3'-hydroxylase (F3'H) gene of a soybean gray pubescence allele (t*) identified the structure of a CACTA transposon designated Tgmt*. Besides the terminal inverted repeats and subterminal repeated motifs,Tgmt* encoded a large gene with two putative functions that are required for excision and transposition of a CACTA element, a transposase and the DNA binding protein known to associate to the subterminal repeated motifs. The degree of dissimilarity between Tgmt* transposase and subterminal repeated motifs with those of previously characterized defective CACTA elements (Tgm1-7) were evidence of the existence of two subfamilies of CACTA transposons in soybean, an observation not previously reported in other plants. In addition, our analyses of a genetically active and potentially autonomous element sheds light on the complete structure of a soybean element that is useful for annotation of the repetitive fraction of the soybean genome sequence and may prove useful for transposon tagging or transposon display experiments in different genetic lines.
PMCID: PMC2613891  PMID: 19055742
4.  Development of pachytene FISH maps for six maize chromosomes and their integration with other maize maps for insights into genome structure variation 
Chromosome Research  2012;20(4):363-380.
Integrated cytogenetic pachytene fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) maps were developed for chromosomes 1, 3, 4, 5, 6, and 8 of maize using restriction fragment length polymorphism marker-selected Sorghum propinquum bacterial artificial chromosomes (BACs) for 19 core bin markers and 4 additional genetic framework loci. Using transgenomic BAC FISH mapping on maize chromosome addition lines of oats, we found that the relative locus position along the pachytene chromosome did not change as a function of total arm length, indicative of uniform axial contraction along the fibers during mid-prophase for tested loci on chromosomes 4 and 5. Additionally, we cytogenetically FISH mapped six loci from chromosome 9 onto their duplicated syntenic regions on chromosomes 1 and 6, which have varying amounts of sequence divergence, using sorghum BACs homologous to the chromosome 9 loci. We found that successful FISH mapping was possible even when the chromosome 9 selective marker had no counterpart in the syntenic block. In total, these 29 FISH-mapped loci were used to create the most extensive pachytene FISH maps to date for these six maize chromosomes. The FISH-mapped loci were then merged into one composite karyotype for direct comparative analysis with the recombination nodule-predicted cytogenetic, genetic linkage, and genomic physical maps using the relative marker positions of the loci on all the maps. Marker colinearity was observed between all pair-wise map comparisons, although marker distribution patterns varied widely in some cases. As expected, we found that the recombination nodule-based predictions most closely resembled the cytogenetic map positions overall. Cytogenetic and linkage map comparisons agreed with previous studies showing a decrease in marker spacing in the peri-centromeric heterochromatin region on the genetic linkage maps. In fact, there was a general trend with most loci mapping closer towards the telomere on the linkage maps than on the cytogenetic maps, regardless of chromosome number or maize inbred line source, with just some of the telomeric loci exempted. Finally and somewhat surprisingly, we observed considerable variation between the relative arm positions of loci when comparing our cytogenetic FISH map to the B73 genomic physical maps, even where comparisons were to a B73-derived cytogenetic map. This variation is more evident between different chromosome arms, but less so within a given arm, ruling out any type of inbred-line dependent global features of linear deoxyribonucleic acid compared with the meiotic fiber organization. This study provides a means for analyzing the maize genome structure by producing new connections for integrating the cytogenetic, linkage, and physical maps of maize.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1007/s10577-012-9281-4) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
PMCID: PMC3391363  PMID: 22588802
maize; cytogenetic; fluorescence in-situ hybridization (FISH); pachytene; Sorghum propinquum; bacterial artificial chromosome (BAC)
5.  Genetic Diversity and the Reproductive System in Related Species of Antirrhinum 
Annals of Botany  2006;98(5):1053-1060.
• Background and Aims Seven related species of Antirrhinum (A. siculum, A. majus, A. latifolium, A. linkianum, A. litigiosum, A. cirrhigherum and A. tortuosum) were studied in order to compare levels of genetic variation and its partitioning in them, and to check relationships between genetic patterns and the reproductive system.
• Methods Eight hundred and fifty-one plants were screened for variability at 13 allozyme loci by means of horizontal starch gel electrophoresis. Parameters of genetic diversity and its partitioning, the inbreeding coefficient as well as an indirect estimate of gene flow based on the equation: Nm = (1 − GST)/4GST, were calculated.
• Key Results Genetic variability in A. siculum was found to be the lowest known in the genus. Mean values of FIT and FIS were mostly positive and not significantly different from zero. Population differentiation (FST) ranged between 6·1 in A. tortuosum and 17·6 in A. linkianum. The inbreeding coefficient within populations ranged between FIS = −0·5 in A. tortuosum and FIS = 1 in A. siculum. Estimates of gene flow ranged between Nm = 15 in A. majus (considered as very high) to Nm = 0·42 in A. siculum (considered as low).
• Conclusions Correlation was found between levels of diversity and differentiation on one hand, and the reproductive system of the studied taxa on the other. Striking differences among species in the inbreeding coefficient (FIS) show different reproductive systems, which mostly support previous reports. Strategies for the conservation of A. siculum are recommended, such as preservation of natural populations as well as ex situ preservation of seeds from different populations.
PMCID: PMC2803598  PMID: 17008348
Antirrhinum; reproductive system; inbreeding; out-breeding; self-incompatibility; self-compatibility; populations; genetic variability; genetic structure; gene flow
6.  A genetic linkage map for the saltwater crocodile (Crocodylus porosus) 
BMC Genomics  2009;10:339.
Genome elucidation is now in high gear for many organisms, and whilst genetic maps have been developed for a broad array of species, surprisingly, no such maps exist for a crocodilian, or indeed any other non-avian member of the Class Reptilia. Genetic linkage maps are essential tools for the mapping and dissection of complex quantitative trait loci (QTL), and in order to permit systematic genome scans for the identification of genes affecting economically important traits in farmed crocodilians, a comprehensive genetic linage map will be necessary.
A first-generation genetic linkage map for the saltwater crocodile (Crocodylus porosus) was constructed using 203 microsatellite markers amplified across a two-generation pedigree comprising ten full-sib families from a commercial population at Darwin Crocodile Farm, Northern Territory, Australia. Linkage analyses identified fourteen linkage groups comprising a total of 180 loci, with 23 loci remaining unlinked. Markers were ordered within linkage groups employing a heuristic approach using CRIMAP v3.0 software. The estimated female and male recombination map lengths were 1824.1 and 319.0 centimorgans (cM) respectively, revealing an uncommonly large disparity in recombination map lengths between sexes (ratio of 5.7:1).
We have generated the first genetic linkage map for a crocodilian, or indeed any other non-avian reptile. The uncommonly large disparity in recombination map lengths confirms previous preliminary evidence of major differences in sex-specific recombination rates in a species that exhibits temperature-dependent sex determination (TSD). However, at this point the reason for this disparity in saltwater crocodiles remains unclear.
This map will be a valuable resource for crocodilian researchers, facilitating the systematic genome scans necessary for identifying genes affecting complex traits of economic importance in the crocodile industry. In addition, since many of the markers placed on this genetic map have been evaluated in up to 18 other extant species of crocodilian, this map will be of intrinsic value to comparative mapping efforts aimed at understanding genome content and organization among crocodilians, as well as the molecular evolution of reptilian and other amniote genomes. As researchers continue to work towards elucidation of the crocodilian genome, this first generation map lays the groundwork for more detailed mapping investigations, as well as providing a valuable scaffold for future genome sequence assembly.
PMCID: PMC2907706  PMID: 19640266
7.  A linkage map of the Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar) based on EST-derived SNP markers 
BMC Genomics  2008;9:223.
The Atlantic salmon is a species of commercial and ecological significance. Like other salmonids, the species displays residual tetrasomy and a large difference in recombination rate between sexes. Linkage maps with full genome coverage, containing both type I and type II markers, are needed for progress in genomics. Furthermore, it is important to estimate levels of linkage disequilibrium (LD) in the species. In this study, we developed several hundred single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) markers for the Atlantic salmon, and constructed male and female linkage maps containing SNP and microsatellite markers. We also investigated further the distribution of male and female recombination events across the genome, and estimated levels of LD between pairs of markers.
The male map had 29 linkage groups and was 390 cM long. The female map had 30 linkage groups as was 1983 cM long. In total, the maps contained 138 microsatellite markers and 304 SNPs located within genes, most of which were successfully annotated. The ratio of male to female recombination events was either close to zero or very large, indicating that there is little overlap between regions in which male and female crossovers occur. The female map is likely to have close to full genome coverage, while the majority of male linkage groups probably lack markers in telomeric regions where male recombination events occur. Levels of r2 increased with decreasing inter-marker distance in a bimodal fashion; increasing slowly from ~60 cM, and more rapidly more from ~12 cM. Long-ranging LD may be consequence of recent admixture in the population, the population being a 'synthetic' breeding population with contributions from several distinct rivers. Levels of r2 dropped to half its maximum value (above baseline) within 15 cM, and were higher than 0.2 above baseline for unlinked markers ('useful LD') at inter-marker distances less than 5 cM.
The linkage map presented here is an important resource for genetic, comparative, and physical mapping of the Atlantic salmon. The female map is likely to have a map coverage that is not far from complete, whereas the male map length is likely to be significantly shorter than the true map, due to suboptimal marker coverage in the apparently small physical regions where male crossovers occur. 'Useful LD' was found at inter-marker distances less than 5 cM.
PMCID: PMC2405805  PMID: 18482444
8.  A first-generation microsatellite-based genetic linkage map of the Siberian jay (Perisoreus infaustus): insights into avian genome evolution 
BMC Genomics  2009;10:1.
Genomic resources for the majority of free-living vertebrates of ecological and evolutionary importance are scarce. Therefore, linkage maps with high-density genome coverage are needed for progress in genomics of wild species. The Siberian jay (Perisoreus infaustus; Corvidae) is a passerine bird which has been subject to lots of research in the areas of ecology and evolutionary biology. Knowledge of its genome structure and organization is required to advance our understanding of the genetic basis of ecologically important traits in this species, as well as to provide insights into avian genome evolution.
We describe the first genetic linkage map of Siberian jay constructed using 117 microsatellites and a mapping pedigree of 349 animals representing five families from a natural population breeding in western Finland from the years 1975 to 2006. Markers were resolved into nine autosomal and a Z-chromosome-specific linkage group, 10 markers remaining unlinked. The best-position map with the most likely positions of all significantly linked loci had a total sex-average size of 862.8 cM, with an average interval distance of 9.69 cM. The female map covered 988.4 cM, whereas the male map covered only 774 cM. The Z-chromosome linkage group comprised six markers, three pseudoautosomal and three sex-specific loci, and spanned 10.6 cM in females and 48.9 cM in males. Eighty-one of the mapped loci could be ordered on a framework map with odds of >1000:1 covering a total size of 809.6 cM in females and 694.2 cM in males. Significant sex specific distortions towards reduced male recombination rates were revealed in the entire best-position map as well as within two autosomal linkage groups. Comparative mapping between Siberian jay and chicken anchored 22 homologous loci on 6 different linkage groups corresponding to chicken chromosomes Gga1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and Z. Quite a few cases of intra-chromosomal rearrangements within the autosomes and three cases of inter-chromosomal rearrangement between the Siberian jay autosomal linkage groups (LG1, LG2 and LG3) and the chicken sex chromosome GgaZ were observed, suggesting a conserved synteny, but changes in marker order, within autosomes during about 100 million years of avian evolution.
The constructed linkage map represents a valuable resource for intraspecific genomics of Siberian jay, as well as for avian comparative genomic studies. Apart from providing novel insights into sex-specific recombination rates and patterns, the described maps – from a previously genomically uncharacterized superfamily (Corvidae) of passerine birds – provide new insights into avian genome evolution. In combination with high-resolution data on quantitative trait variability from the study population, they also provide a foundation for QTL-mapping studies.
PMCID: PMC2671524  PMID: 19121221
9.  Punctuated Distribution of Recombination Hotspots and Demarcation of Pericentromeric Regions in Phaseolus vulgaris L. 
PLoS ONE  2015;10(1):e0116822.
High density genetic maps are a reliable tool for genetic dissection of complex plant traits. Mapping resolution is often hampered by the variable crossover and non-crossover events occurring across the genome, with pericentromeric regions (pCENR) showing highly suppressed recombination rates. The efficiency of linkage mapping can further be improved by characterizing and understanding the distribution of recombinational activity along individual chromosomes. In order to evaluate the genome wide recombination rate in common beans (Phaseolus vulgaris L.) we developed a SNP-based linkage map using the genotype-by-sequencing approach with a 188 recombinant inbred line family generated from an inter gene pool cross (Andean x Mesoamerican). We identified 1,112 SNPs that were subsequently used to construct a robust linkage map with 11 groups, comprising 513 recombinationally unique marker loci spanning 943 cM (LOD 3.0). Comparative analysis showed that the linkage map spanned >95% of the physical map, indicating that the map is almost saturated. Evaluation of genome-wide recombination rate indicated that at least 45% of the genome is highly recombinationally suppressed, and allowed us to estimate locations of pCENRs. We observed an average recombination rate of 0.25 cM/Mb in pCENRs as compared to the rest of genome that showed 3.72 cM/Mb. However, several hot spots of recombination were also detected with recombination rates reaching as high as 34 cM/Mb. Hotspots were mostly found towards the end of chromosomes, which also happened to be gene-rich regions. Analyzing relationships between linkage and physical map indicated a punctuated distribution of recombinational hot spots across the genome.
PMCID: PMC4309454  PMID: 25629314
10.  Methods for transient assay of gene function in floral tissues 
Plant Methods  2007;3:1.
There is considerable interest in rapid assays or screening systems for assigning gene function. However, analysis of gene function in the flowers of some species is restricted due to the difficulty of producing stably transformed transgenic plants. As a result, experimental approaches based on transient gene expression assays are frequently used. Biolistics has long been used for transient over-expression of genes of interest, but has not been exploited for gene silencing studies. Agrobacterium-infiltration has also been used, but the focus primarily has been on the transient transformation of leaf tissue.
Two constructs, one expressing an inverted repeat of the Antirrhinum majus (Antirrhinum) chalcone synthase gene (CHS) and the other an inverted repeat of the Antirrhinum transcription factor gene Rosea1, were shown to effectively induce CHS and Rosea1 gene silencing, respectively, when introduced biolistically into petal tissue of Antirrhinum flowers developing in vitro. A high-throughput vector expressing the Antirrhinum CHS gene attached to an inverted repeat of the nos terminator was also shown to be effective. Silencing spread systemically to create large zones of petal tissue lacking pigmentation, with transmission of the silenced state spreading both laterally within the affected epidermal cell layer and into lower cell layers, including the epidermis of the other petal surface. Transient Agrobacterium-mediated transformation of petal tissue of tobacco and petunia flowers in situ or detached was also achieved, using expression of the reporter genes GUS and GFP to visualise transgene expression.
We demonstrate the feasibility of using biolistics-based transient RNAi, and transient transformation of petal tissue via Agrobacterium infiltration to study gene function in petals. We have also produced a vector for high throughput gene silencing studies, incorporating the option of using T-A cloning to insert the gene sequence of interest. These techniques should allow analysis of gene function in a much broader range of flower species.
PMCID: PMC1781449  PMID: 17207290
11.  Construction and application for QTL analysis of a Restriction Site Associated DNA (RAD) linkage map in barley 
BMC Genomics  2011;12:4.
Linkage maps are an integral resource for dissection of complex genetic traits in plant and animal species. Canonical map construction follows a well-established workflow: an initial discovery phase where genetic markers are mined from a small pool of individuals, followed by genotyping of selected mapping populations using sets of marker panels. A newly developed sequence-based marker technology, Restriction site Associated DNA (RAD), enables synchronous single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) marker discovery and genotyping using massively parallel sequencing. The objective of this research was to assess the utility of RAD markers for linkage map construction, employing barley as a model system. Using the published high density EST-based SNP map in the Oregon Wolfe Barley (OWB) mapping population as a reference, we created a RAD map using a limited set of prior markers to establish linakge group identity, integrated the RAD and prior data, and used both maps for detection of quantitative trait loci (QTL).
Using the RAD protocol in tandem with the Illumina sequence by synthesis platform, a total of 530 SNP markers were identified from initial scans of the OWB parental inbred lines - the "dominant" and "recessive" marker stocks - and scored in a 93 member doubled haploid (DH) mapping population. RAD sequence data from the structured population was converted into allele genotypes from which a genetic map was constructed. The assembled RAD-only map consists of 445 markers with an average interval length of 5 cM, while an integrated map includes 463 RAD loci and 2383 prior markers. Sequenced RAD markers are distributed across all seven chromosomes, with polymorphic loci emanating from both coding and noncoding regions in the Hordeum genome. Total map lengths are comparable and the order of common markers is identical in both maps. The same large-effect QTL for reproductive fitness traits were detected with both maps and the majority of these QTL were coincident with a dwarfing gene (ZEO) and the VRS1 gene, which determines the two-row and six-row germplasm groups of barley.
We demonstrate how sequenced RAD markers can be leveraged to produce high quality linkage maps for detection of single gene loci and QTLs. By combining SNP discovery and genotyping into parallel sequencing events, RAD markers should be a useful molecular breeding tool for a range of crop species. Expected improvements in cost and throughput of second and third-generation sequencing technologies will enable more powerful applications of the sequenced RAD marker system, including improvements in de novo genome assembly, development of ultra-high density genetic maps and association mapping.
PMCID: PMC3023751  PMID: 21205322
12.  Role of Recombination in the Evolution of the Model Plant Pathogen Pseudomonas syringae pv. tomato DC3000, a Very Atypical Tomato Strain▿ † 
Applied and Environmental Microbiology  2008;74(10):3171-3181.
Pseudomonas syringae pv. tomato strain DC3000 (PtoDC3000) is one of the most intensively studied bacterial plant pathogens today. Here we report a thorough investigation into PtoDC3000 and close relatives isolated from Antirrhinum majus (snapdragon), Apium graveolens (celery), and Solanaceae and Brassicaceae species. Multilocus sequence typing (MLST) was used to resolve the precise phylogenetic relationship between isolates and to determine the importance of recombination in their evolution. MLST data were correlated with an analysis of the locus coding for the type III secreted (T3S) effector AvrPto1 to investigate the role of recombination in the evolution of effector repertoires. Host range tests were performed to determine if closely related isolates from different plants have different host ranges. It was found that PtoDC3000 is located in the same phylogenetic cluster as isolates from several Brassicaceae and Solanaceae species and that these isolates have a relatively wide host range that includes tomato, Arabidopsis thaliana, and cauliflower. All other analyzed tomato isolates from three different continents form a distinct cluster and are pathogenic only on tomato. Therefore, PtoDC3000 is a very unusual tomato isolate. Several recombination breakpoints were detected within sequenced gene fragments, and population genetic tests indicate that recombination contributed more than mutation to the variation between isolates. Moreover, recombination may play an important role in the reassortment of T3S effectors between strains. The data are finally discussed from a taxonomic standpoint, and P. syringae pv. tomato is proposed to be divided into two pathovars.
PMCID: PMC2394945  PMID: 18378665
13.  Genomic linkage map of the human blood fluke Schistosoma mansoni 
Genome Biology  2009;10(6):R71.
The first genetic linkage map of Schistosoma mansoni reveals insights into higher female recombination, confirms ZW inheritance patterns and recombination hotspots.
Schistosoma mansoni is a blood fluke that infects approximately 90 million people. The complete life cycle of this parasite can be maintained in the laboratory, making this one of the few experimentally tractable human helminth infections, and a rich literature reveals heritable variation in important biomedical traits such as virulence, host-specificity, transmission and drug resistance. However, there is a current lack of tools needed to study S. mansoni's molecular, quantitative, and population genetics. Our goal was to construct a genetic linkage map for S. mansoni, and thus provide a new resource that will help stimulate research on this neglected pathogen.
We genotyped grandparents, parents and 88 progeny to construct a 5.6 cM linkage map containing 243 microsatellites positioned on 203 of the largest scaffolds in the genome sequence. The map allows 70% of the estimated 300 Mb genome to be ordered on chromosomes, and highlights where scaffolds have been incorrectly assembled. The markers fall into eight main linkage groups, consistent with seven pairs of autosomes and one pair of sex chromosomes, and we were able to anchor linkage groups to chromosomes using fluorescent in situ hybridization. The genome measures 1,228.6 cM. Marker segregation reveals higher female recombination, confirms ZW inheritance patterns, and identifies recombination hotspots and regions of segregation distortion.
The genetic linkage map presented here is the first for S. mansoni and the first for a species in the phylum Platyhelminthes. The map provides the critical tool necessary for quantitative genetic analysis, aids genome assembly, and furnishes a framework for comparative flatworm genomics and field-based molecular epidemiological studies.
PMCID: PMC2718505  PMID: 19566921
14.  An Integrated Linkage, Chromosome, and Genome Map for the Yellow Fever Mosquito Aedes aegypti 
Aedes aegypti, the yellow fever mosquito, is an efficient vector of arboviruses and a convenient model system for laboratory research. Extensive linkage mapping of morphological and molecular markers localized a number of quantitative trait loci (QTLs) related to the mosquito's ability to transmit various pathogens. However, linking the QTLs to Ae. aegypti chromosomes and genomic sequences has been challenging because of the poor quality of polytene chromosomes and the highly fragmented genome assembly for this species.
Methodology/Principal Findings
Based on the approach developed in our previous study, we constructed idiograms for mitotic chromosomes of Ae. aegypti based on their banding patterns at early metaphase. These idiograms represent the first cytogenetic map developed for mitotic chromosomes of Ae. aegypti. One hundred bacterial artificial chromosome clones carrying major genetic markers were hybridized to the chromosomes using fluorescent in situ hybridization. As a result, QTLs related to the transmission of the filarioid nematode Brugia malayi, the avian malaria parasite Plasmodium gallinaceum, and the dengue virus, as well as sex determination locus and 183 Mbp of genomic sequences were anchored to the exact positions on Ae. aegypti chromosomes. A linear regression analysis demonstrated a good correlation between positions of the markers on the physical and linkage maps. As a result of the recombination rate variation along the chromosomes, 12 QTLs on the linkage map were combined into five major clusters of QTLs on the chromosome map.
This study developed an integrated linkage, chromosome, and genome map—iMap—for the yellow fever mosquito. Our discovery of the localization of multiple QTLs in a few major chromosome clusters suggests a possibility that the transmission of various pathogens is controlled by the same genomic loci. Thus, the iMap will facilitate the identification of genomic determinants of traits responsible for susceptibility or refractoriness of the mosquito to diverse pathogens.
Author Summary
About half of the human population is under risk of dengue infection. Because of the absence of a vaccine or drug treatment, the prevention of this disease largely relies on controlling its major vector mosquito Aedes aegypti. Availability of the complete genome sequence for this mosquito offers the potential to help in the identification of novel disease control strategies. An efficient vector of arboviruses, Ae. aegypti is also a convenient model for laboratory studies. A number of genetic loci related to the remarkable ability of this mosquito to transmit various pathogens were genetically mapped to the three linkage groups corresponding to the three individual chromosomes of the mosquito. However, the exact physical positions of the genetic loci and genomic sequences on the chromosomes were unknown. In this study, we developed maps for mitotic chromosomes of Ae. aegypti and localized 100 clones carrying major genetic markers, which were previously used for mapping genetic loci associated with the pathogens' transmission. Finally, linkage, chromosome, and genome maps of Ae. aegypti were integrated. Anchoring of the genomic sequences associated with genetic markers to the chromosomes of Ae. aegypti will help to identify candidate genes that might be utilized for developing advanced genome-based strategies for vector control.
PMCID: PMC3573077  PMID: 23459230
15.  Genetic Linkage Mapping and Transmission Ratio Distortion in a Three-Generation Four-Founder Population of Panicum virgatum (L.) 
G3: Genes|Genomes|Genetics  2014;4(5):913-923.
Switchgrass (Panicum virgatum L.), a warm season, C4, perennial grass, is one of the predominant grass species of the North American tall grass prairies. It is viewed as a high-potential bioenergy feedstock species because it can produce large amounts of lignocellulosic material with relatively few inputs. The objectives of this project were to develop an advanced switchgrass population and use it for the construction of genetic linkage maps and trait characterization. A three-generation, four-founder population was created and a total of 182 progeny of this advanced population were genotyped, including a mixture of self-pollinated and hybrid individuals. The female map integrated both subpopulations and covered 1629 cM of the switchgrass genome, with an average map length of 91 cM per linkage group. The male map of the hybrid progeny covered 1462 cM, with an average map length of 81 cM per linkage group. Average marker density of the female and male maps was 3.9 and 3.5 cM per marker interval, respectively. Based on the parental maps, the genome length of switchgrass was estimated to be 1776 cM and 1596 cM for the female map and male map, respectively. The proportion of the genome within 5 cM of a mapped locus was estimated to be 92% and 93% for the female map and male map, respectively. Thus, the linkage maps have covered most of the switchgrass genome. The assessment of marker transmission ratio distortion found that 26% of the genotyped markers were distorted from either 1:1 or 3:1 ratios expected for segregation of single dose markers in one or both parents, respectively. Several regions affected by transmission ratio distortion were found, with linkage groups Ib-m and VIIIa-f most affected.
PMCID: PMC4025490  PMID: 24637352
biomass; feedstock; biofuel; allopolyploid
16.  A novel genetic map of wheat: utility for mapping QTL for yield under different nitrogen treatments 
BMC Genetics  2014;15:57.
Common wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) is one of the most important food crops worldwide. Wheat varieties that maintain yield (YD) under moderate or even intense nitrogen (N) deficiency can adapt to low input management systems. A detailed genetic map is necessary for both wheat molecular breeding and genomics research. In this study, an F6:7 recombinant inbred line population comprising 188 lines was used to construct a novel genetic map and subsequently to detect quantitative trait loci (QTL) for YD and response to N stress.
A genetic map consisting of 591 loci distributed across 21 wheat chromosomes was constructed. The map spanned 3930.7 cM, with one marker per 6.7 cM on average. Genomic simple sequence repeat (g-SSR), expressed sequence tag-derived microsatellite (e-SSR), diversity arrays technology (DArT), sequence-tagged sites (STS), sequence-related amplified polymorphism (SRAP), and inter-simple sequence repeat (ISSR) molecular markers were included in the map. The linear relationships between loci found in the present map and in previously compiled physical maps were presented, which were generally in accordance. Information on the genetic and physical positions and allele sizes (when possible) of 17 DArT, 50 e-SSR, 44 SRAP, five ISSR, and two morphological markers is reported here for the first time. Seven segregation distortion regions (SDR) were identified on chromosomes 1B, 3BL, 4AL, 6AS, 6AL, 6BL, and 7B. A total of 22 and 12 QTLs for YD and yield difference between the value (YDDV) under HN and the value under LN were identified, respectively. Of these, QYd-4B-2 and QYddv-4B, two major stable QTL, shared support interval with alleles from KN9204 increasing YD in LN and decreasing YDDV. We probe into the use of these QTLs in wheat breeding programs. Moreover, factors affecting the SDR and total map length are discussed in depth.
This novel map may facilitate the use of novel markers in wheat molecular breeding programs and genomics research. Moreover, QTLs for YD and YDDV provide useful markers for wheat molecular breeding programs designed to increase yield potential under N stress.
PMCID: PMC4038385  PMID: 24885313
Genetic map; Molecular marker; Quantitative trait loci; Wheat; Yield
17.  A reference linkage map for Eucalyptus 
BMC Genomics  2012;13:240.
Genetic linkage maps are invaluable resources in plant research. They provide a key tool for many genetic applications including: mapping quantitative trait loci (QTL); comparative mapping; identifying unlinked (i.e. independent) DNA markers for fingerprinting, population genetics and phylogenetics; assisting genome sequence assembly; relating physical and recombination distances along the genome and map-based cloning of genes. Eucalypts are the dominant tree species in most Australian ecosystems and of economic importance globally as plantation trees. The genome sequence of E. grandis has recently been released providing unprecedented opportunities for genetic and genomic research in the genus. A robust reference linkage map containing sequence-based molecular markers is needed to capitalise on this resource. Several high density linkage maps have recently been constructed for the main commercial forestry species in the genus (E. grandis, E. urophylla and E. globulus) using sequenced Diversity Arrays Technology (DArT) and microsatellite markers. To provide a single reference linkage map for eucalypts a composite map was produced through the integration of data from seven independent mapping experiments (1950 individuals) using a marker-merging method.
The composite map totalled 1107 cM and contained 4101 markers; comprising 3880 DArT, 213 microsatellite and eight candidate genes. Eighty-one DArT markers were mapped to two or more linkage groups, resulting in the 4101 markers being mapped to 4191 map positions. Approximately 13% of DArT markers mapped to identical map positions, thus the composite map contained 3634 unique loci at an average interval of 0.31 cM.
The composite map represents the most saturated linkage map yet produced in Eucalyptus. As the majority of DArT markers contained on the map have been sequenced, the map provides a direct link to the E. grandis genome sequence and will serve as an important reference for progressing eucalypt research.
PMCID: PMC3436727  PMID: 22702473
18.  A New Genetic Linkage Map of the Zygomycete Fungus Phycomyces blakesleeanus 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(3):e58931.
Phycomyces blakesleeanus is a member of the subphylum Mucoromycotina. A genetic map was constructed from 121 progeny of a cross between two wild type isolates of P. blakesleeanus with 134 markers. The markers were mostly PCR-RFLPs. Markers were located on 46 scaffolds of the genome sequence, covering more than 97% of the genome. Analysis of the alleles in the progeny revealed nine or 12 linkage groups, depending on the log of the odds (LOD) score, across 1583.4 cM at LOD 5. The linkage groups were overlaid on previous mapping data from crosses between mutants, aided by new identification of the mutations in primary metabolism mutant strains. The molecular marker map, the phenotype map and the genome sequence are overall congruent, with some exceptions. The new genetic map provides a genome-wide estimate for recombination, with the average of 33.2 kb per cM. This frequency is one piece of evidence for meiosis during zygospore development in Mucoromycotina species. At the same time as meiosis, transmission of non-recombinant chromosomes is also evident in the mating process in Phycomyces. The new map provides scaffold ordering for the genome sequence and a platform upon which to identify the genes in mutants that are affected in traits of interest, such as carotene biosynthesis, phototropism or gravitropism, using positional cloning.
PMCID: PMC3597544  PMID: 23516579
19.  A SSR-based composite genetic linkage map for the cultivated peanut (Arachis hypogaea L.) genome 
BMC Plant Biology  2010;10:17.
The construction of genetic linkage maps for cultivated peanut (Arachis hypogaea L.) has and continues to be an important research goal to facilitate quantitative trait locus (QTL) analysis and gene tagging for use in a marker-assisted selection in breeding. Even though a few maps have been developed, they were constructed using diploid or interspecific tetraploid populations. The most recently published intra-specific map was constructed from the cross of cultivated peanuts, in which only 135 simple sequence repeat (SSR) markers were sparsely populated in 22 linkage groups. The more detailed linkage map with sufficient markers is necessary to be feasible for QTL identification and marker-assisted selection. The objective of this study was to construct a genetic linkage map of cultivated peanut using simple sequence repeat (SSR) markers derived primarily from peanut genomic sequences, expressed sequence tags (ESTs), and by "data mining" sequences released in GenBank.
Three recombinant inbred lines (RILs) populations were constructed from three crosses with one common female parental line Yueyou 13, a high yielding Spanish market type. The four parents were screened with 1044 primer pairs designed to amplify SSRs and 901 primer pairs produced clear PCR products. Of the 901 primer pairs, 146, 124 and 64 primer pairs (markers) were polymorphic in these populations, respectively, and used in genotyping these RIL populations. Individual linkage maps were constructed from each of the three populations and a composite map based on 93 common loci were created using JoinMap. The composite linkage maps consist of 22 composite linkage groups (LG) with 175 SSR markers (including 47 SSRs on the published AA genome maps), representing the 20 chromosomes of A. hypogaea. The total composite map length is 885.4 cM, with an average marker density of 5.8 cM. Segregation distortion in the 3 populations was 23.0%, 13.5% and 7.8% of the markers, respectively. These distorted loci tended to cluster on LG1, LG3, LG4 and LG5. There were only 15 EST-SSR markers mapped due to low polymorphism. By comparison, there were potential synteny, collinear order of some markers and conservation of collinear linkage groups among the maps and with the AA genome but not fully conservative.
A composite linkage map was constructed from three individual mapping populations with 175 SSR markers in 22 composite linkage groups. This composite genetic linkage map is among the first "true" tetraploid peanut maps produced. This map also consists of 47 SSRs that have been used in the published AA genome maps, and could be used in comparative mapping studies. The primers described in this study are PCR-based markers, which are easy to share for genetic mapping in peanuts. All 1044 primer pairs are provided as additional files and the three RIL populations will be made available to public upon request for quantitative trait loci (QTL) analysis and linkage map improvement.
PMCID: PMC2835713  PMID: 20105299
20.  Caenorhabditis briggsae Recombinant Inbred Line Genotypes Reveal Inter-Strain Incompatibility and the Evolution of Recombination 
PLoS Genetics  2011;7(7):e1002174.
The nematode Caenorhabditis briggsae is an emerging model organism that allows evolutionary comparisons with C. elegans and exploration of its own unique biological attributes. To produce a high-resolution C. briggsae recombination map, recombinant inbred lines were generated from reciprocal crosses between two strains and genotyped at over 1,000 loci. A second set of recombinant inbred lines involving a third strain was also genotyped at lower resolution. The resulting recombination maps exhibit discrete domains of high and low recombination, as in C. elegans, indicating these are a general feature of Caenorhabditis species. The proportion of a chromosome's physical size occupied by the central, low-recombination domain is highly correlated between species. However, the C. briggsae intra-species comparison reveals striking variation in the distribution of recombination between domains. Hybrid lines made with the more divergent pair of strains also exhibit pervasive marker transmission ratio distortion, evidence of selection acting on hybrid genotypes. The strongest effect, on chromosome III, is explained by a developmental delay phenotype exhibited by some hybrid F2 animals. In addition, on chromosomes IV and V, cross direction-specific biases towards one parental genotype suggest the existence of cytonuclear epistatic interactions. These interactions are discussed in relation to surprising mitochondrial genome polymorphism in C. briggsae, evidence that the two strains diverged in allopatry, the potential for local adaptation, and the evolution of Dobzhansky-Muller incompatibilities. The genetic and genomic resources resulting from this work will support future efforts to understand inter-strain divergence as well as facilitate studies of gene function, natural variation, and the evolution of recombination in Caenorhabditis nematodes.
Author Summary
The nematode Caenorhabditis briggsae is increasingly used for comparisons with its more famous relative, C. elegans. To improve genomic resources for C. briggsae, we created two sets of inbred lines derived from crosses between diverged C. briggsae strains. High-throughput genotyping of these has improved the resolution of the recombination map and genome assembly. It also allows detailed comparisons of recombination both within and between species. Unexpectedly, we found that alleles from one parental strain were much more likely to be fixed on three of the six chromosomes in one of the sets of lines. One of these biases is caused by a pronounced developmental delay in F2 progeny that is seen in both reciprocal crosses, whereas the other two manifest in only one of the two cross directions. This indicates that the parental strains have diverged in both nuclear and nuclear-cytoplasmic interactions, either because of local adaptation or restricted gene flow across much of the genome.
PMCID: PMC3136444  PMID: 21779179
21.  Construction of a SNP-based genetic linkage map in cultivated peanut based on large scale marker development using next-generation double-digest restriction-site-associated DNA sequencing (ddRADseq) 
BMC Genomics  2014;15(1):351.
Cultivated peanut, or groundnut (Arachis hypogaea L.), is an important oilseed crop with an allotetraploid genome (AABB, 2n = 4x = 40). In recent years, many efforts have been made to construct linkage maps in cultivated peanut, but almost all of these maps were constructed using low-throughput molecular markers, and most show a low density, directly influencing the value of their applications. With advances in next-generation sequencing (NGS) technology, the construction of high-density genetic maps has become more achievable in a cost-effective and rapid manner. The objective of this study was to establish a high-density single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP)-based genetic map for cultivated peanut by analyzing next-generation double-digest restriction-site-associated DNA sequencing (ddRADseq) reads.
We constructed reduced representation libraries (RRLs) for two A. hypogaea lines and 166 of their recombinant inbred line (RIL) progenies using the ddRADseq technique. Approximately 175 gigabases of data containing 952,679,665 paired-end reads were obtained following Solexa sequencing. Mining this dataset, 53,257 SNPs were detected between the parents, of which 14,663 SNPs were also detected in the population, and 1,765 of the obtained polymorphic markers met the requirements for use in the construction of a genetic map. Among 50 randomly selected in silico SNPs, 47 were able to be successfully validated. One linkage map was constructed, which was comprised of 1,685 marker loci, including 1,621 SNPs and 64 simple sequence repeat (SSR) markers. The map displayed a distribution of the markers into 20 linkage groups (LGs A01–A10 and B01–B10), spanning a distance of 1,446.7 cM. The alignment of the LGs from this map was shown in comparison with a previously integrated consensus map from peanut.
This study showed that the ddRAD library combined with NGS allowed the rapid discovery of a large number of SNPs in the cultivated peanut. The first high density SNP-based linkage map for A. hypogaea was generated that can serve as a reference map for cultivated Arachis species and will be useful in genetic mapping. Our results contribute to the available molecular marker resources and to the assembly of a reference genome sequence for the peanut.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/1471-2164-15-351) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
PMCID: PMC4035077  PMID: 24885639
Cultivated peanut; Linkage map; SNP; ddRADseq
22.  Floral benzenoid carboxyl methyltransferases: From in vitro to in planta function 
Phytochemistry  2005;66(11):1211-1230.
Benzenoid carboxyl methyltransferases synthesize methyl esters (e.g., methyl benzoate and methyl salicylate), which are constituents of aromas and scents of many plant species and play important roles in plant communication with the surrounding environment. Within the past five years, eleven such carboxyl methyltransferases were isolated and most of them were comprehensively investigated at the biochemical, molecular and structural level. Two types of enzymes can be distinguished according to their substrate preferences: the SAMT-type enzymes isolated from Clarkia breweri, Stephanotis floribunda, Antirrhinum majus, Hoya carnosa, and Petunia hybrida, which have a higher catalytic efficiency and preference for salicylic acid, while BAMT-type enzymes from A. majus, Arabidopsis thaliana, Arabidopsis lyrata, and Nicotiana suaveolens prefer benzoic acid. The elucidation of C. breweri SAMT’s three-dimensional structure allowed a detailed modelling of the active sites of the carboxyl methyltransferases and revealed that the SAM binding pocket is highly conserved among these enzymes while the methyl acceptor binding site exhibits some variability, allowing a classification into SAMT-type and BAMT-type enzymes. The analysis of expression patterns coupled with biochemical characterization showed that these carboxyl methyltransferases are involved either in floral scent biosynthesis or in plant defense responses. While the latter can be induced by biotic or abiotic stress, the genes responsible for floral scent synthesis exhibit developmental and rhythmic expression pattern. The nature of the product and efficiency of its formation in planta depend on the availability of substrates, the catalytic efficiency of the enzyme toward benzoic acid and/or salicylic acid, and the transcriptional, translational, and post-translational regulation at the enzyme level. The biochemical properties of benzenoid carboxyl methyltransferases suggest that the genes involved in plant defenses might represent the ancestor for the presently existing floral genes which during evolution gained different expression profiles and encoded enzymes with the ability to accept structurally similar substrates.
PMCID: PMC2864587  PMID: 15946712
23.  High-density linkage mapping in a pine tree reveals a genomic region associated with inbreeding depression and provides clues to the extent and distribution of meiotic recombination 
BMC Biology  2013;11:50.
The availability of a large expressed sequence tags (EST) resource and recent advances in high-throughput genotyping technology have made it possible to develop highly multiplexed SNP arrays for multi-objective genetic applications, including the construction of meiotic maps. Such approaches are particularly useful in species with a large genome size, precluding the use of whole-genome shotgun assembly with current technologies.
In this study, a 12 k-SNP genotyping array was developed for maritime pine from an extensive EST resource assembled into a unigene set. The offspring of three-generation outbred and inbred mapping pedigrees were then genotyped. The inbred pedigree consisted of a classical F2 population resulting from the selfing of a single inter-provenance (Landes x Corsica) hybrid tree, whereas the outbred pedigree (G2) resulted from a controlled cross of two intra-provenance (Landes x Landes) hybrid trees. This resulted in the generation of three linkage maps based on SNP markers: one from the parental genotype of the F2 population (1,131 markers in 1,708 centimorgan (cM)), and one for each parent of the G2 population (1,015 and 1,110 markers in 1,447 and 1,425 cM for the female and male parents, respectively). A comparison of segregation patterns in the progeny obtained from the two types of mating (inbreeding and outbreeding) led to the identification of a chromosomal region carrying an embryo viability locus with a semi-lethal allele. Following selfing and segregation, zygote mortality resulted in a deficit of Corsican homozygous genotypes in the F2 population. This dataset was also used to study the extent and distribution of meiotic recombination along the length of the chromosomes and the effect of sex and/or genetic background on recombination. The genetic background of trees in which meiotic recombination occurred was found to have a significant effect on the frequency of recombination. Furthermore, only a small proportion of the recombination hot- and cold-spots were common to all three genotypes, suggesting that the spatial pattern of recombination was genetically variable.
This study led to the development of classical genomic tools for this ecologically and economically important species. It also identified a chromosomal region bearing a semi-lethal recessive allele and demonstrated the genetic variability of recombination rate over the genome.
PMCID: PMC3660193  PMID: 23597128
Unigene; SNP array; Linkage mapping; Segregation distortion; Recombination; Maritime pine; Pinus pinaster
24.  An Autosomal Genetic Linkage Map of the Domestic Cat, Felis silvestris catus 
Genomics  2008;93(4):305-313.
We report on the completion of an autosomal genetic linkage (GL) map of the domestic cat (Felis silvestris catus). Unlike two previous linkage maps of the cat constructed with a hybrid pedigree between the domestic cat and the Asian leopard cat, this map was generated entirely with domestic cats, using a large multi-generational pedigree (n=256) maintained by the Nestlé Purina PetCare Company. Four hundred eighty-three simple tandem repeat (STR) loci have been assigned to linkage groups on the cat’s 18 autosomes. A single linkage group spans each autosome. The length of the cat map, estimated at 4370 cM, is long relative to most reported mammalian maps. A high degree of concordance in marker order was observed between the third-generation map and the 1.5 Mb-resolution radiation hybrid (RH) map of the cat. Using the cat 1.9X whole-genome sequence, we identified map coordinates for 85#x00025; of the loci in the cat assembly, with high concordance observed in marker order between the linkage map and the cat sequence assembly. The present version represents a marked improvement over previous cat linkage maps as it (i) nearly doubles the number of markers that were present in the second-generation linkage map in the cat, (ii) provides a linkage map generated in a domestic cat pedigree which will more accurately reflect recombination distances than previous maps generated in a hybrid pedigree, and (iii) provides single linkage groups spanning each autosome. Marker order was largely consistent between this and the previous maps, though the use of a hybrid pedigree in the earlier versions appears to have contributed to some suppression of recombination. The improved linkage map will provide an added resource for the mapping of phenotypic variation in the domestic cat and the use of this species as a model system for biological research.
PMCID: PMC2656606  PMID: 19059333
Domestic cat; Genetic linkage map; STRs; microsatellites
25.  A SNP based linkage map of the turkey genome reveals multiple intrachromosomal rearrangements between the Turkey and Chicken genomes 
BMC Genomics  2010;11:647.
The turkey (Meleagris gallopavo) is an important agricultural species that is the second largest contributor to the world's poultry meat production. The genomic resources of turkey provide turkey breeders with tools needed for the genetic improvement of commercial breeds of turkey for economically important traits. A linkage map of turkey is essential not only for the mapping of quantitative trait loci, but also as a framework to enable the assignment of sequence contigs to specific chromosomes. Comparative genomics with chicken provides insight into mechanisms of genome evolution and helps in identifying rare genomic events such as genomic rearrangements and duplications/deletions.
Eighteen full sib families, comprising 1008 (35 F1 and 973 F2) birds, were genotyped for 775 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs). Of the 775 SNPs, 570 were informative and used to construct a linkage map in turkey. The final map contains 531 markers in 28 linkage groups. The total genetic distance covered by these linkage groups is 2,324 centimorgans (cM) with the largest linkage group (81 loci) measuring 326 cM. Average marker interval for all markers across the 28 linkage groups is 4.6 cM. Comparative mapping of turkey and chicken revealed two inter-, and 57 intrachromosomal rearrangements between these two species.
Our turkey genetic map of 531 markers reveals a genome length of 2,324 cM. Our linkage map provides an improvement of previously published maps because of the more even distribution of the markers and because the map is completely based on SNP markers enabling easier and faster genotyping assays than the microsatellitemarkers used in previous linkage maps. Turkey and chicken are shown to have a highly conserved genomic structure with a relatively low number of inter-, and intrachromosomal rearrangements.
PMCID: PMC3091770  PMID: 21092123

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