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1.  Sequenced BAC anchored reference genetic map that reconciles the ten individual chromosomes of Brassica rapa 
BMC Genomics  2009;10:432.
In view of the immense value of Brassica rapa in the fields of agriculture and molecular biology, the multinational Brassica rapa Genome Sequencing Project (BrGSP) was launched in 2003 by five countries. The developing BrGSP has valuable resources for the community, including a reference genetic map and seed BAC sequences. Although the initial B. rapa linkage map served as a reference for the BrGSP, there was ambiguity in reconciling the linkage groups with the ten chromosomes of B. rapa. Consequently, the BrGSP assigned each of the linkage groups to the project members as chromosome substitutes for sequencing.
We identified simple sequence repeat (SSR) motifs in the B. rapa genome with the sequences of seed BACs used for the BrGSP. By testing 749 amplicons containing SSR motifs, we identified polymorphisms that enabled the anchoring of 188 BACs onto the B. rapa reference linkage map consisting of 719 loci in the 10 linkage groups with an average distance of 1.6 cM between adjacent loci. The anchored BAC sequences enabled the identification of 30 blocks of conserved synteny, totaling 534.9 cM in length, between the genomes of B. rapa and Arabidopsis thaliana. Most of these were consistent with previously reported duplication and rearrangement events that differentiate these genomes. However, we were able to identify the collinear regions for seven additional previously uncharacterized sections of the A genome. Integration of the linkage map with the B. rapa cytogenetic map was accomplished by FISH with probes representing 20 BAC clones, along with probes for rDNA and centromeric repeat sequences. This integration enabled unambiguous alignment and orientation of the maps representing the 10 B. rapa chromosomes.
We developed a second generation reference linkage map for B. rapa, which was aligned unambiguously to the B. rapa cytogenetic map. Furthermore, using our data, we confirmed and extended the comparative genome analysis between B. rapa and A. thaliana. This work will serve as a basis for integrating the genetic, physical, and chromosome maps of the BrGSP, as well as for studies on polyploidization, speciation, and genome duplication in the genus Brassica.
PMCID: PMC2761421  PMID: 19751531
2.  Construction of an integrated genetic linkage map for the A genome of Brassica napus using SSR markers derived from sequenced BACs in B. rapa 
BMC Genomics  2010;11:594.
The Multinational Brassica rapa Genome Sequencing Project (BrGSP) has developed valuable genomic resources, including BAC libraries, BAC-end sequences, genetic and physical maps, and seed BAC sequences for Brassica rapa. An integrated linkage map between the amphidiploid B. napus and diploid B. rapa will facilitate the rapid transfer of these valuable resources from B. rapa to B. napus (Oilseed rape, Canola).
In this study, we identified over 23,000 simple sequence repeats (SSRs) from 536 sequenced BACs. 890 SSR markers (designated as BrGMS) were developed and used for the construction of an integrated linkage map for the A genome in B. rapa and B. napus. Two hundred and nineteen BrGMS markers were integrated to an existing B. napus linkage map (BnaNZDH). Among these mapped BrGMS markers, 168 were only distributed on the A genome linkage groups (LGs), 18 distrubuted both on the A and C genome LGs, and 33 only distributed on the C genome LGs. Most of the A genome LGs in B. napus were collinear with the homoeologous LGs in B. rapa, although minor inversions or rearrangements occurred on A2 and A9. The mapping of these BAC-specific SSR markers enabled assignment of 161 sequenced B. rapa BACs, as well as the associated BAC contigs to the A genome LGs of B. napus.
The genetic mapping of SSR markers derived from sequenced BACs in B. rapa enabled direct links to be established between the B. napus linkage map and a B. rapa physical map, and thus the assignment of B. rapa BACs and the associated BAC contigs to the B. napus linkage map. This integrated genetic linkage map will facilitate exploitation of the B. rapa annotated genomic resources for gene tagging and map-based cloning in B. napus, and for comparative analysis of the A genome within Brassica species.
PMCID: PMC3091739  PMID: 20969760
3.  RNA-seq based SNPs in some agronomically important oleiferous lines of Brassica rapa and their use for genome-wide linkage mapping and specific-region fine mapping 
BMC Genomics  2013;14:463.
Brassica rapa (AA) contains very diverse forms which include oleiferous types and many vegetable types. Genome sequence of B. rapa line Chiifu (ssp. pekinensis), a leafy vegetable type, was published in 2011. Using this knowledge, it is important to develop genomic resources for the oleiferous types of B. rapa. This will allow more involved molecular mapping, in-depth study of molecular mechanisms underlying important agronomic traits and introgression of traits from B. rapa to major oilseed crops - B. juncea (AABB) and B. napus (AACC). The study explores the availability of SNPs in RNA-seq generated contigs of three oleiferous lines of B. rapa - Candle (ssp. oleifera, turnip rape), YSPB-24 and Tetra (ssp. trilocularis, Yellow sarson) and their use in genome-wide linkage mapping and specific-region fine mapping using a RIL population between Chiifu and Tetra.
RNA-seq was carried out on the RNA isolated from young inflorescences containing unopened floral buds, floral axis and small leaves, using Illumina paired-end sequencing technology. Sequence assembly was carried out using the Velvet de-novo programme and the assembled contigs were organised against Chiifu gene models, available in the BRAD-CDS database. RNA-seq confirmed the presence of more than 17,000 single-copy gene models described in the BRAD database. The assembled contigs and the BRAD gene models were analyzed for the presence of SSRs and SNPs. While the number of SSRs was limited, more than 0.2 million SNPs were observed between Chiifu and the three oleiferous lines. Assays for SNPs were designed using KASPar technology and tested on a F7-RIL population derived from a Chiifu x Tetra cross. The design of the SNP assays were based on three considerations - the 50 bp flanking region of the SNPs should be strictly similar, the SNP should have a read-depth of ≥7 and no exon/intron junction should be present within the 101 bp target region. Using these criteria, a total of 640 markers (580 for genome-wide mapping and 60 for specific-region mapping) marking as many genes were tested for mapping. Out of 640 markers that were tested, 594 markers could be mapped unambiguously which included 542 markers for genome-wide mapping and 42 markers for fine mapping of the tet-o locus that is involved with the trait tetralocular ovary in the line Tetra.
A large number of SNPs and PSVs are present in the transcriptome of B. rapa lines for genome-wide linkage mapping and specific-region fine mapping. Criteria used for SNP identification delivered markers, more than 93% of which could be successfully mapped to the F7–RIL population of Chiifu x Tetra cross.
PMCID: PMC3711843  PMID: 23837684
Brassica rapa; RNA-seq; Next generation sequencing; Single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP); Paralog specific variation (PSV); Coding DNA Sequences (CDS); KASPar assays
4.  A consensus map of rapeseed (Brassica napus L.) based on diversity array technology markers: applications in genetic dissection of qualitative and quantitative traits 
BMC Genomics  2013;14:277.
Dense consensus genetic maps based on high-throughput genotyping platforms are valuable for making genetic gains in Brassica napus through quantitative trait locus identification, efficient predictive molecular breeding, and map-based gene cloning. This report describes the construction of the first B. napus consensus map consisting of a 1,359 anchored array based genotyping platform; Diversity Arrays Technology (DArT), and non-DArT markers from six populations originating from Australia, Canada, China and Europe. We aligned the B. napus DArT sequences with genomic scaffolds from Brassica rapa and Brassica oleracea, and identified DArT loci that showed linkage with qualitative and quantitative loci associated with agronomic traits.
The integrated consensus map covered a total of 1,987.2 cM and represented all 19 chromosomes of the A and C genomes, with an average map density of one marker per 1.46 cM, corresponding to approximately 0.88 Mbp of the haploid genome. Through in silico physical mapping 2,457 out of 3,072 (80%) DArT clones were assigned to the genomic scaffolds of B. rapa (A genome) and B. oleracea (C genome). These were used to orientate the genetic consensus map with the chromosomal sequences. The DArT markers showed linkage with previously identified non-DArT markers associated with qualitative and quantitative trait loci for plant architecture, phenological components, seed and oil quality attributes, boron efficiency, sucrose transport, male sterility, and race-specific resistance to blackleg disease.
The DArT markers provide increased marker density across the B. napus genome. Most of the DArT markers represented on the current array were sequenced and aligned with the B. rapa and B. oleracea genomes, providing insight into the Brassica A and C genomes. This information can be utilised for comparative genomics and genomic evolution studies. In summary, this consensus map can be used to (i) integrate new generation markers such as SNP arrays and next generation sequencing data; (ii) anchor physical maps to facilitate assembly of B. napus genome sequences; and (iii) identify candidate genes underlying natural genetic variation for traits of interest.
PMCID: PMC3641989  PMID: 23617817
5.  Progress in Understanding and Sequencing the Genome of Brassica rapa 
Brassica rapa, which is closely related to Arabidopsis thaliana, is an important crop and a model plant for studying genome evolution via polyploidization. We report the current understanding of the genome structure of B. rapa and efforts for the whole-genome sequencing of the species. The tribe Brassicaceae, which comprises ca. 240 species, descended from a common hexaploid ancestor with a basic genome similar to that of Arabidopsis. Chromosome rearrangements, including fusions and/or fissions, resulted in the present-day “diploid” Brassica species with variation in chromosome number and phenotype. Triplicated genomic segments of B. rapa are collinear to those of A. thaliana with InDels. The genome triplication has led to an approximately 1.7-fold increase in the B. rapa gene number compared to that of A. thaliana. Repetitive DNA of B. rapa has also been extensively amplified and has diverged from that of A. thaliana. For its whole-genome sequencing, the Brassica rapa Genome Sequencing Project (BrGSP) consortium has developed suitable genomic resources and constructed genetic and physical maps. Ten chromosomes of B. rapa are being allocated to BrGSP consortium participants, and each chromosome will be sequenced by a BAC-by-BAC approach. Genome sequencing of B. rapa will offer a new perspective for plant biology and evolution in the context of polyploidization.
PMCID: PMC2233773  PMID: 18288250
6.  The first generation of a BAC-based physical map of Brassica rapa 
BMC Genomics  2008;9:280.
The genus Brassica includes the most extensively cultivated vegetable crops worldwide. Investigation of the Brassica genome presents excellent challenges to study plant genome evolution and divergence of gene function associated with polyploidy and genome hybridization. A physical map of the B. rapa genome is a fundamental tool for analysis of Brassica "A" genome structure. Integration of a physical map with an existing genetic map by linking genetic markers and BAC clones in the sequencing pipeline provides a crucial resource for the ongoing genome sequencing effort and assembly of whole genome sequences.
A genome-wide physical map of the B. rapa genome was constructed by the capillary electrophoresis-based fingerprinting of 67,468 Bacterial Artificial Chromosome (BAC) clones using the five restriction enzyme SNaPshot technique. The clones were assembled into contigs by means of FPC v8.5.3. After contig validation and manual editing, the resulting contig assembly consists of 1,428 contigs and is estimated to span 717 Mb in physical length. This map provides 242 anchored contigs on 10 linkage groups to be served as seed points from which to continue bidirectional chromosome extension for genome sequencing.
The map reported here is the first physical map for Brassica "A" genome based on the High Information Content Fingerprinting (HICF) technique. This physical map will serve as a fundamental genomic resource for accelerating genome sequencing, assembly of BAC sequences, and comparative genomics between Brassica genomes. The current build of the B. rapa physical map is available at the B. rapa Genome Project website for the user community.
PMCID: PMC2432078  PMID: 18549474
7.  Identification of Novel QTLs for Isolate-Specific Partial Resistance to Plasmodiophora brassicae in Brassica rapa 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(12):e85307.
Plasmodiophora brassicae, the causal agent of clubroot disease of the Brassica crops, is widespread in the world. Quantitative trait loci (QTLs) for partial resistance to 4 different isolates of P. brassicae (Pb2, Pb4, Pb7, and Pb10) were investigated using a BC1F1 population from a cross between two subspecies of Brassica rapa, i.e. Chinese cabbage inbred line C59-1 as a susceptible recurrent parent and turnip inbred line ECD04 as a resistant donor parent. The BC1F2 families were assessed for resistance under controlled conditions. A linkage map constructed with simple sequence repeats (SSR), unigene-derived microsatellite (UGMS) markers, and specific markers linked to published clubroot resistance (CR) genes of B. rapa was used to perform QTL mapping. A total of 6 QTLs residing in 5 CR QTL regions of the B. rapa chromosomes A01, A03, and A08 were identified to account for 12.2 to 35.2% of the phenotypic variance. Two QTL regions were found to be novel except for 3 QTLs in the respective regions of previously identified Crr1, Crr2, and Crr3. QTL mapping results indicated that 1 QTL region was common for partial resistance to the 2 isolates of Pb2 and Pb7, whereas the others were specific for each isolate. Additionally, synteny analysis between B. rapa and Arabidopsis thaliana revealed that all CR QTL regions were aligned to a single conserved crucifer blocks (U, F, and R) on 3 Arabidopsis chromosomes where 2 CR QTLs were detected in A. thaliana. These results suggest that some common ancestral genomic regions were involved in the evolution of CR genes in B. rapa.
PMCID: PMC3869933  PMID: 24376876
8.  Construction and analysis of a high-density genetic linkage map in cabbage (Brassica oleracea L. var. capitata) 
BMC Genomics  2012;13:523.
Brassica oleracea encompass a family of vegetables and cabbage that are among the most widely cultivated crops. In 2009, the B. oleracea Genome Sequencing Project was launched using next generation sequencing technology. None of the available maps were detailed enough to anchor the sequence scaffolds for the Genome Sequencing Project. This report describes the development of a large number of SSR and SNP markers from the whole genome shotgun sequence data of B. oleracea, and the construction of a high-density genetic linkage map using a double haploid mapping population.
The B. oleracea high-density genetic linkage map that was constructed includes 1,227 markers in nine linkage groups spanning a total of 1197.9 cM with an average of 0.98 cM between adjacent loci. There were 602 SSR markers and 625 SNP markers on the map. The chromosome with the highest number of markers (186) was C03, and the chromosome with smallest number of markers (99) was C09.
This first high-density map allowed the assembled scaffolds to be anchored to pseudochromosomes. The map also provides useful information for positional cloning, molecular breeding, and integration of information of genes and traits in B. oleracea. All the markers on the map will be transferable and could be used for the construction of other genetic maps.
PMCID: PMC3542169  PMID: 23033896
Cabbage; Brassica; Genetic linkage map; SSR; SNP; Genome
9.  Integration of Solexa sequences on an ultradense genetic map in Brassica rapa L. 
BMC Genomics  2011;12:249.
Sequence related amplified polymorphism (SRAP) is commonly used to construct high density genetic maps, map genes and QTL of important agronomic traits in crops and perform genetic diversity analysis without knowing sequence information. To combine next generation sequencing technology with SRAP, Illumina's Solexa sequencing was used to sequence tagged SRAP PCR products.
Three sets of SRAP primers and three sets of tagging primers were used in 77,568 SRAP PCR reactions and the same number of tagging PCR reactions respectively to produce a pooled sample for Illumina's Solexa sequencing. After sequencing, 1.28 GB of sequence with over 13 million paired-end sequences was obtained and used to match Solexa sequences with their corresponding SRAP markers and to integrate Solexa sequences on an ultradense genetic map. The ultradense genetic bin map with 465 bins was constructed using a recombinant inbred (RI) line mapping population in B. rapa. For this ultradense genetic bin map, 9,177 SRAP markers, 1,737 integrated unique Solexa paired-end sequences and 46 SSR markers representing 10,960 independent genetic loci were assembled and 141 unique Solexa paired-end sequences were matched with their corresponding SRAP markers. The genetic map in B. rapa was aligned with the previous ultradense genetic map in B. napus through common SRAP markers in these two species. Additionally, SSR markers were used to perform alignment of the current genetic map with other five genetic maps in B. rapa and B. napus.
We used SRAP to construct an ultradense genetic map with 10,960 independent genetic loci in B. rapa that is the most saturated genetic map ever constructed in this species. Using next generation sequencing, we integrated 1,878 Solexa sequences on the genetic map. These integrated sequences will be used to assemble the scaffolds in the B. rapa genome. Additionally, this genetic map may be used for gene cloning and marker development in B. rapa and B. napus.
PMCID: PMC3125265  PMID: 21595929
10.  Genic Microsatellite Markers in Brassica rapa: Development, Characterization, Mapping, and Their Utility in Other Cultivated and Wild Brassica Relatives 
Genic microsatellite markers, also known as functional markers, are preferred over anonymous markers as they reveal the variation in transcribed genes among individuals. In this study, we developed a total of 707 expressed sequence tag-derived simple sequence repeat markers (EST-SSRs) and used for development of a high-density integrated map using four individual mapping populations of B. rapa. This map contains a total of 1426 markers, consisting of 306 EST-SSRs, 153 intron polymorphic markers, 395 bacterial artificial chromosome-derived SSRs (BAC-SSRs), and 572 public SSRs and other markers covering a total distance of 1245.9 cM of the B. rapa genome. Analysis of allelic diversity in 24 B. rapa germplasm using 234 mapped EST-SSR markers showed amplification of 2 alleles by majority of EST-SSRs, although amplification of alleles ranging from 2 to 8 was found. Transferability analysis of 167 EST-SSRs in 35 species belonging to cultivated and wild brassica relatives showed 42.51% (Sysimprium leteum) to 100% (B. carinata, B. juncea, and B. napus) amplification. Our newly developed EST-SSRs and high-density linkage map based on highly transferable genic markers would facilitate the molecular mapping of quantitative trait loci and the positional cloning of specific genes, in addition to marker-assisted selection and comparative genomic studies of B. rapa with other related species.
PMCID: PMC3190952  PMID: 21768136
Brassica rapa; expressed sequence-derived SSRs; integrated map; polymorphism information content; transferability
11.  BRAD, the genetics and genomics database for Brassica plants 
BMC Plant Biology  2011;11:136.
Brassica species include both vegetable and oilseed crops, which are very important to the daily life of common human beings. Meanwhile, the Brassica species represent an excellent system for studying numerous aspects of plant biology, specifically for the analysis of genome evolution following polyploidy, so it is also very important for scientific research. Now, the genome of Brassica rapa has already been assembled, it is the time to do deep mining of the genome data.
BRAD, the Brassica database, is a web-based resource focusing on genome scale genetic and genomic data for important Brassica crops. BRAD was built based on the first whole genome sequence and on further data analysis of the Brassica A genome species, Brassica rapa (Chiifu-401-42). It provides datasets, such as the complete genome sequence of B. rapa, which was de novo assembled from Illumina GA II short reads and from BAC clone sequences, predicted genes and associated annotations, non coding RNAs, transposable elements (TE), B. rapa genes' orthologous to those in A. thaliana, as well as genetic markers and linkage maps. BRAD offers useful searching and data mining tools, including search across annotation datasets, search for syntenic or non-syntenic orthologs, and to search the flanking regions of a certain target, as well as the tools of BLAST and Gbrowse. BRAD allows users to enter almost any kind of information, such as a B. rapa or A. thaliana gene ID, physical position or genetic marker.
BRAD, a new database which focuses on the genetics and genomics of the Brassica plants has been developed, it aims at helping scientists and breeders to fully and efficiently use the information of genome data of Brassica plants. BRAD will be continuously updated and can be accessed through
PMCID: PMC3213011  PMID: 21995777
12.  Polymorphism Identification and Improved Genome Annotation of Brassica rapa Through Deep RNA Sequencing 
G3: Genes|Genomes|Genetics  2014;4(11):2065-2078.
The mapping and functional analysis of quantitative traits in Brassica rapa can be greatly improved with the availability of physically positioned, gene-based genetic markers and accurate genome annotation. In this study, deep transcriptome RNA sequencing (RNA-Seq) of Brassica rapa was undertaken with two objectives: SNP detection and improved transcriptome annotation. We performed SNP detection on two varieties that are parents of a mapping population to aid in development of a marker system for this population and subsequent development of high-resolution genetic map. An improved Brassica rapa transcriptome was constructed to detect novel transcripts and to improve the current genome annotation. This is useful for accurate mRNA abundance and detection of expression QTL (eQTLs) in mapping populations. Deep RNA-Seq of two Brassica rapa genotypes—R500 (var. trilocularis, Yellow Sarson) and IMB211 (a rapid cycling variety)—using eight different tissues (root, internode, leaf, petiole, apical meristem, floral meristem, silique, and seedling) grown across three different environments (growth chamber, greenhouse and field) and under two different treatments (simulated sun and simulated shade) generated 2.3 billion high-quality Illumina reads. A total of 330,995 SNPs were identified in transcribed regions between the two genotypes with an average frequency of one SNP in every 200 bases. The deep RNA-Seq reassembled Brassica rapa transcriptome identified 44,239 protein-coding genes. Compared with current gene models of B. rapa, we detected 3537 novel transcripts, 23,754 gene models had structural modifications, and 3655 annotated proteins changed. Gaps in the current genome assembly of B. rapa are highlighted by our identification of 780 unmapped transcripts. All the SNPs, annotations, and predicted transcripts can be viewed at
PMCID: PMC4232532  PMID: 25122667
Brassica rapa; RNA-Seq; transcriptome; SNPs; genome annotation
13.  An InDel-based linkage map of hot pepper (Capsicum annuum) 
Molecular Breeding  2015;35:32.
Two independent pepper (Capsicum annuum) genomes were published recently, opening a new era of molecular genetics research on pepper. However, pepper molecular marker technologies are still mainly focusing on the simple sequence repeats derived from public database or genomic library. The development and application of the third generation marker system such as single nucleotide polymorphisms, structure variations as well as insertion/deletion polymorphisms (InDels) is still in its infancy. In the present study, we developed InDel markers for pepper genetic mapping with the convenience of two whole-genome re-sequenced inbred lines BA3 (C. annuum) and B702 (C. annuum). A total of 154,519 and 149,755 InDel (1–5 bp) sites were identified for BA3 and B702, respectively, by the alignment of re-sequencing reads to Zunla-1 reference genome. Then, 14,498 InDel sites (only 4 and 5 bp) that are different between BA3 and B702 were predicted. Finally, within a random set of 1,000 primer pairs, 251 InDel markers were validated and mapped onto a linkage map using F2 population derived from the intraspecific cross BA3 × B702. The first InDel-based map, named as BB-InDel map, consisted of 12 linkage groups, covered a genetic distance of 1,178.01 cM and the average distance between bin markers was 5.01 cM. Compared to the Zunla-1 reference physical map, high consistency was observed on all 12 chromosomes, and the total length of scaffold anchored and physical distance covered by this map was 299.66 and 2,558.68 Mb, respectively, which accounted for 8.95 and 76.38 % of the Zunla-1 reference genome (3.35 Gb), respectively. Furthermore, 37 scaffolds (total length of 36.21 Mb) from the pseudo-chromosome (P0) of the current genome assembly were newly assigned to the corresponding chromosomes by 40 InDel markers. Thus, this map provided good genome coverage and would be useful for basic and applied research in pepper.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1007/s11032-015-0219-3) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
PMCID: PMC4300394  PMID: 25620878
Capsicum annuum; InDel; Genetic map; Pepper genome
14.  Diversity Array Technology Markers: Genetic Diversity Analyses and Linkage Map Construction in Rapeseed (Brassica napus L.) 
We developed Diversity Array Technology (DArT) markers for application in genetic studies of Brassica napus and other Brassica species with A or C genomes. Genomic representation from 107 diverse genotypes of B. napus L. var. oleifera (rapeseed, AACC genomes) and B. rapa (AA genome) was used to develop a DArT array comprising 11 520 clones generated using PstI/BanII and PstI/BstN1 complexity reduction methods. In total, 1547 polymorphic DArT markers of high technical quality were identified and used to assess molecular diversity among 89 accessions of B. napus, B. rapa, B. juncea, and B. carinata collected from different parts of the world. Hierarchical cluster and principal component analyses based on genetic distance matrices identified distinct populations clustering mainly according to their origin/pedigrees. DArT markers were also mapped in a new doubled haploid population comprising 131 lines from a cross between spring rapeseed lines ‘Lynx-037DH’ and ‘Monty-028DH’. Linkage groups were assigned on the basis of previously mapped simple sequence repeat (SSRs), intron polymorphism (IP), and gene-based markers. The map consisted of 437 DArT, 135 SSR, 6 IP, and 6 gene-based markers and spanned 2288 cM. Our results demonstrate that DArT markers are suitable for genetic diversity analysis and linkage map construction in rapeseed.
PMCID: PMC3276259  PMID: 22193366
Diversity Array Technology; genetic diversity; genetic linkage mapping; Brassica species; rapeseed
15.  Genetic analysis of morphological traits in a new, versatile, rapid-cycling Brassica rapa recombinant inbred line population 
A recombinant inbred line (RIL) population was produced based on a wide cross between the rapid-cycling and self-compatible genotypes L58, a Caixin vegetable type, and R-o-18, a yellow sarson oil type. A linkage map based on 160 F7 lines was constructed using 100 Single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs), 130 AFLP®, 27 InDel, and 13 publicly available SSR markers. The map covers a total length of 1150 centiMorgan (cM) with an average resolution of 4.3 cM/marker. To demonstrate the versatility of this new population, 17 traits, related to plant architecture and seed characteristics, were subjected to quantitative trait loci (QTL) analysis. A total of 47 QTLs were detected, each explaining between 6 and 54% of the total phenotypic variance for the concerned trait. The genetic analysis shows that this population is a useful new tool for analyzing genetic variation for interesting traits in B. rapa, and for further exploitation of the recent availability of the B. rapa whole genome sequence for gene cloning and gene function analysis.
PMCID: PMC3419917  PMID: 22912644
Brassica rapa; recombinant inbred line population; QTL analysis; plant breeding
16.  Integration of linkage maps for the Amphidiploid Brassica napus and comparative mapping with Arabidopsis and Brassica rapa 
BMC Genomics  2011;12:101.
The large number of genetic linkage maps representing Brassica chromosomes constitute a potential platform for studying crop traits and genome evolution within Brassicaceae. However, the alignment of existing maps remains a major challenge. The integration of these genetic maps will enhance genetic resolution, and provide a means to navigate between sequence-tagged loci, and with contiguous genome sequences as these become available.
We report the first genome-wide integration of Brassica maps based on an automated pipeline which involved collation of genome-wide genotype data for sequence-tagged markers scored on three extensively used amphidiploid Brassica napus (2n = 38) populations. Representative markers were selected from consolidated maps for each population, and skeleton bin maps were generated. The skeleton maps for the three populations were then combined to generate an integrated map for each LG, comparing two different approaches, one encapsulated in JoinMap and the other in MergeMap. The BnaWAIT_01_2010a integrated genetic map was generated using JoinMap, and includes 5,162 genetic markers mapped onto 2,196 loci, with a total genetic length of 1,792 cM. The map density of one locus every 0.82 cM, corresponding to 515 Kbp, increases by at least three-fold the locus and marker density within the original maps. Within the B. napus integrated map we identified 103 conserved collinearity blocks relative to Arabidopsis, including five previously unreported blocks. The BnaWAIT_01_2010a map was used to investigate the integrity and conservation of order proposed for genome sequence scaffolds generated from the constituent A genome of Brassica rapa.
Our results provide a comprehensive genetic integration of the B. napus genome from a range of sources, which we anticipate will provide valuable information for rapeseed and Canola research.
PMCID: PMC3042011  PMID: 21306613
17.  Genome-wide comparative analysis of the Brassica rapa gene space reveals genome shrinkage and differential loss of duplicated genes after whole genome triplication 
Genome Biology  2009;10(10):R111.
Euchromatic regions of the Brassica rapa genome were sequenced and mapped onto the corresponding regions in the Arabidopsis thaliana genome.
Brassica rapa is one of the most economically important vegetable crops worldwide. Owing to its agronomic importance and phylogenetic position, B. rapa provides a crucial reference to understand polyploidy-related crop genome evolution. The high degree of sequence identity and remarkably conserved genome structure between Arabidopsis and Brassica genomes enables comparative tiling sequencing using Arabidopsis sequences as references to select the counterpart regions in B. rapa, which is a strong challenge of structural and comparative crop genomics.
We assembled 65.8 megabase-pairs of non-redundant euchromatic sequence of B. rapa and compared this sequence to the Arabidopsis genome to investigate chromosomal relationships, macrosynteny blocks, and microsynteny within blocks. The triplicated B. rapa genome contains only approximately twice the number of genes as in Arabidopsis because of genome shrinkage. Genome comparisons suggest that B. rapa has a distinct organization of ancestral genome blocks as a result of recent whole genome triplication followed by a unique diploidization process. A lack of the most recent whole genome duplication (3R) event in the B. rapa genome, atypical of other Brassica genomes, may account for the emergence of B. rapa from the Brassica progenitor around 8 million years ago.
This work demonstrates the potential of using comparative tiling sequencing for genome analysis of crop species. Based on a comparative analysis of the B. rapa sequences and the Arabidopsis genome, it appears that polyploidy and chromosomal diploidization are ongoing processes that collectively stabilize the B. rapa genome and facilitate its evolution.
PMCID: PMC2784326  PMID: 19821981
18.  A Complex Recombination Pattern in the Genome of Allotetraploid Brassica napus as Revealed by a High-Density Genetic Map 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(10):e109910.
Polyploidy plays a crucial role in plant evolution. Brassica napus (2n = 38, AACC), the most important oil crop in the Brassica genus, is an allotetraploid that originated through natural doubling of chromosomes after the hybridization of its progenitor species, B. rapa (2n = 20, AA) and B. oleracea (2n = 18, CC). A better understanding of the evolutionary relationship between B. napus and B. rapa, B. oleracea, as well as Arabidopsis, which has a common ancestor with these three species, will provide valuable information about the generation and evolution of allopolyploidy. Based on a high-density genetic map with single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) and simple sequence repeat (SSR) markers, we performed a comparative genomic analysis of B. napus with Arabidopsis and its progenitor species B. rapa and B. oleracea. Based on the collinear relationship of B. rapa and B. oleracea in the B. napus genetic map, the B. napus genome was found to consist of 70.1% of the skeleton components of the chromosomes of B. rapa and B. oleracea, with 17.7% of sequences derived from reciprocal translocation between homoeologous chromosomes between the A- and C-genome and 3.6% of sequences derived from reciprocal translocation between non-homologous chromosomes at both intra- and inter-genomic levels. The current study thus provides insights into the formation and evolution of the allotetraploid B. napus genome, which will allow for more accurate transfer of genomic information from B. rapa, B. oleracea and Arabidopsis to B. napus.
PMCID: PMC4214627  PMID: 25356735
19.  Draft Sequences of the Radish (Raphanus sativus L.) Genome 
Radish (Raphanus sativus L., n = 9) is one of the major vegetables in Asia. Since the genomes of Brassica and related species including radish underwent genome rearrangement, it is quite difficult to perform functional analysis based on the reported genomic sequence of Brassica rapa. Therefore, we performed genome sequencing of radish. Short reads of genomic sequences of 191.1 Gb were obtained by next-generation sequencing (NGS) for a radish inbred line, and 76,592 scaffolds of ≥300 bp were constructed along with the bacterial artificial chromosome-end sequences. Finally, the whole draft genomic sequence of 402 Mb spanning 75.9% of the estimated genomic size and containing 61,572 predicted genes was obtained. Subsequently, 221 single nucleotide polymorphism markers and 768 PCR-RFLP markers were used together with the 746 markers produced in our previous study for the construction of a linkage map. The map was combined further with another radish linkage map constructed mainly with expressed sequence tag-simple sequence repeat markers into a high-density integrated map of 1,166 cM with 2,553 DNA markers. A total of 1,345 scaffolds were assigned to the linkage map, spanning 116.0 Mb. Bulked PCR products amplified by 2,880 primer pairs were sequenced by NGS, and SNPs in eight inbred lines were identified.
PMCID: PMC4195494  PMID: 24848699
radish; draft sequence; high-density genetic map
20.  Identification of candidate genes of QTLs for seed weight in Brassica napus through comparative mapping among Arabidopsis and Brassica species 
BMC Genetics  2012;13:105.
Map-based cloning of quantitative trait loci (QTLs) in polyploidy crop species remains a challenge due to the complexity of their genome structures. QTLs for seed weight in B. napus have been identified, but information on candidate genes for identified QTLs of this important trait is still rare.
In this study, a whole genome genetic linkage map for B. napus was constructed using simple sequence repeat (SSR) markers that covered a genetic distance of 2,126.4 cM with an average distance of 5.36 cM between markers. A procedure was developed to establish colinearity of SSR loci on B. napus with its two progenitor diploid species B. rapa and B. oleracea through extensive bioinformatics analysis. With the aid of B. rapa and B. oleracea genome sequences, the 421 homologous colinear loci deduced from the SSR loci of B. napus were shown to correspond to 398 homologous loci in Arabidopsis thaliana. Through comparative mapping of Arabidopsis and the three Brassica species, 227 homologous genes for seed size/weight were mapped on the B. napus genetic map, establishing the genetic bases for the important agronomic trait in this amphidiploid species. Furthermore, 12 candidate genes underlying 8 QTLs for seed weight were identified, and a gene-specific marker for BnAP2 was developed through molecular cloning using the seed weight/size gene distribution map in B. napus.
Our study showed that it is feasible to identify candidate genes of QTLs using a SSR-based B. napus genetic map through comparative mapping among Arabidopsis and B. napus and its two progenitor species B. rapa and B. oleracea. Identification of candidate genes for seed weight in amphidiploid B. napus will accelerate the process of isolating the mapped QTLs for this important trait, and this approach may be useful for QTL identification of other traits of agronomic significance.
PMCID: PMC3575274  PMID: 23216693
Brassicaceae; Rapeseed; Arabidopsis; Comparative mapping; QTL; Map-based cloning; Seed weight
21.  Detection and genotyping of restriction fragment associated polymorphisms in polyploid crops with a pseudo-reference sequence: a case study in allotetraploid Brassica napus 
BMC Genomics  2013;14:346.
The presence of homoeologous sequences and absence of a reference genome sequence make discovery and genotyping of single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) more challenging in polyploid crops.
To address this challenge, we constructed reduced representation libraries (RRLs) for two Brassica napus inbred lines and their 91 doubled haploid (DH) progenies using a modified ddRADseq technique. A bioinformatics pipeline termed RFAPtools was developed to discover and genotype SNPs and presence/absence variations (PAVs). Using this pipeline, a pseudo-reference sequence (PRF) containing 180,991 sequence tags was constructed. By aligning sequence reads to the pseudo-reference sequence, allelic SNPs as well as PAVs were identified and genotyped with RFAPtools. Two parallel linkage maps, one SNP bin map containing 8,780 SNP loci and one PAV linkage map containing 12,423 dominant loci, were constructed. By aligning marker sequences to B. rapa sequence scaffolds, whose genome is available, we assigned 44 unassembled sequence scaffolds comprising 8.15 Mb onto the B. rapa chromosomes, and also identified 14 instances of misassembly and eight instances of mis-ordering sequence scaffolds.
These results indicate that the modified ddRADseq approach is a cost-effective and simple method to genotype tens of thousands SNPs and PAV markers in a polyploidy plant species. The results also demonstrated that RFAPtools developed in this study are powerful to mine allelic SNPs from homoeologous sequences in polyploids, therefore they are generally applicable in either diploid or polyploid species with or without a reference genome sequence.
PMCID: PMC3665465  PMID: 23706002
Polyploid crops; Brassica napus; Pseudo-reference sequence; Single nucleotide polymorphism; Presence/absence variation
22.  A naturally occurring InDel variation in BraA.FLC.b (BrFLC2) associated with flowering time variation in Brassica rapa 
BMC Plant Biology  2012;12:151.
Flowering time is an important trait in Brassica rapa crops. FLOWERING LOCUS C (FLC) is a MADS-box transcription factor that acts as a potent repressor of flowering. Expression of FLC is silenced when plants are exposed to low temperature, which activates flowering. There are four copies of FLC in B. rapa. Analyses of different segregating populations have suggested that BraA.FLC.a (BrFLC1) and BraA.FLC.b (BrFLC2) play major roles in controlling flowering time in B. rapa.
We analyzed the BrFLC2 sequence in nine B. rapa accessions, and identified a 57-bp insertion/deletion (InDel) across exon 4 and intron 4 resulting in a non-functional allele. In total, three types of transcripts were identified for this mutated BrFLC2 allele. The InDel was used to develop a PCR-based marker, which was used to screen a collection of 159 B. rapa accessions. The deletion genotype was present only in oil-type B. rapa, including ssp. oleifera and ssp. tricolaris, and not in other subspecies. The deletion genotype was significantly correlated with variation in flowering time. In contrast, the reported splicing site variation in BrFLC1, which also leads to a non-functional locus, was detected but not correlated with variation in flowering time in oil-type B. rapa, although it was correlated with variation in flowering time in vegetable-type B. rapa.
Our results suggest that the naturally occurring deletion mutation across exon 4 and intron 4 in BrFLC2 gene contributes greatly to variation in flowering time in oil-type B. rapa. The observed different relationship between BrFLC1 or BrFLC2 and flowering time variation indicates that the control of flowering time has evolved separately between oil-type and vegetable-type B. rapa groups.
PMCID: PMC3487953  PMID: 22925611
23.  Seed colour loci, homoeology and linkage groups of the C genome chromosomes revealed in Brassica rapa–B. oleracea monosomic alien addition lines 
Annals of Botany  2012;109(7):1227-1242.
Background and Aims
Brassica rapa and B. oleracea are the progenitors of oilseed rape B. napus. The addition of each chromosome of B. oleracea to the chromosome complement of B. rapa results in a series of monosomic alien addition lines (MAALs). Analysis of MAALs determines which B. oleracea chromosomes carry genes controlling specific phenotypic traits, such as seed colour. Yellow-seeded oilseed rape is a desirable breeding goal both for food and livestock feed end-uses that relate to oil, protein and fibre contents. The aims of this study included developing a missing MAAL to complement an available series, for studies on seed colour control, chromosome homoeology and assignment of linkage groups to B. oleracea chromosomes.
A new batch of B. rapa–B. oleracea aneuploids was produced to generate the missing MAAL. Seed colour and other plant morphological features relevant to differentiation of MAALs were recorded. For chromosome characterization, Snow's carmine, fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) and genomic in situ hybridization (GISH) were used.
Key Results
The final MAAL was developed. Morphological traits that differentiated the MAALs comprised cotyledon number, leaf morphology, flower colour and seed colour. Seed colour was controlled by major genes on two B. oleracea chromosomes and minor genes on five other chromosomes of this species. Homoeologous pairing was largely between chromosomes with similar centromeric positions. FISH, GISH and a parallel microsatellite marker analysis defined the chromosomes in terms of their linkage groups.
A complete set of MAALs is now available for genetic, genomic, evolutionary and breeding perspectives. Defining chromosomes that carry specific genes, physical localization of DNA markers and access to established genetic linkage maps contribute to the integration of these approaches, manifested in the confirmed correspondence of linkage groups with specific chromosomes. Applications include marker-assisted selection and breeding for yellow seeds.
PMCID: PMC3359914  PMID: 22628364
Brassica rapa var. trilocularis; B. oleracea var. alboglabra; MAALs; characterization of C chromosomes; plant morphology; seed colour control; FISH; GISH; chromosome homoeology; chromosome structural changes; linkage groups; crop plant breeding
24.  Mapping the Anthocyaninless (anl) Locus in Rapid-Cycling Brassica rapa (RBr) to Linkage Group R9 
BMC Genetics  2007;8:64.
Anthocyanins are flavonoid pigments that are responsible for purple coloration in the stems and leaves of a variety of plant species. Anthocyaninless (anl) mutants of Brassica rapa fail to produce anthocyanin pigments. In rapid-cycling Brassica rapa, also known as Wisconsin Fast Plants, the anthocyaninless trait, also called non-purple stem, is widely used as a model recessive trait for teaching genetics. Although anthocyanin genes have been mapped in other plants such as Arabidopsis thaliana, the anl locus has not been mapped in any Brassica species.
We tested primer pairs known to amplify microsatellites in Brassicas and identified 37 that amplified a product in rapid-cycling Brassica rapa. We then developed three-generation pedigrees to assess linkage between the microsatellite markers and anl. 22 of the markers that we tested were polymorphic in our crosses. Based on 177 F2 offspring, we identified three markers linked to anl with LOD scores ≥ 5.0, forming a linkage group spanning 46.9 cM. Because one of these markers has been assigned to a known B. rapa linkage group, we can now assign the anl locus to B. rapa linkage group R9.
This study is the first to identify the chromosomal location of an anthocyanin pigment gene among the Brassicas. It also connects a classical mutant frequently used in genetics education with molecular markers and a known chromosomal location.
PMCID: PMC2048511  PMID: 17894874
25.  Genetic linkage maps for Asian and American lotus constructed using novel SSR markers derived from the genome of sequenced cultivar 
BMC Genomics  2012;13:653.
The genus Nelumbo Adans. comprises two living species, N. nucifera Gaertan. (Asian lotus) and N. lutea Pers. (American lotus). A genetic linkage map is an essential resource for plant genetic studies and crop improvement but has not been generated for Nelumbo. We aimed to develop genomic simple sequence repeat (SSR) markers from the genome sequence and construct two genetic maps for Nelumbo to assist genome assembly and integration of a genetic map with the genome sequence.
A total of 86,089 SSR motifs were identified from the genome sequences. Di- and tri-nucleotide repeat motifs were the most abundant, and accounted for 60.73% and 31.66% of all SSRs, respectively. AG/GA repeats constituted 51.17% of dinucleotide repeat motifs, followed by AT/TA (44.29%). Of 500 SSR primers tested, 386 (77.20%) produced scorable alleles with an average of 2.59 per primer, and 185 (37.00%) showed polymorphism among two parental genotypes, N. nucifera ‘Chinese Antique’ and N. lutea ‘AL1’, and six progenies of their F1 population. The normally segregating markers, which comprised 268 newly developed SSRs, 37 previously published SSRs and 53 sequence-related amplified polymorphism markers, were used for genetic map construction. The map for Asian lotus was 365.67 cM with 47 markers distributed in seven linkage groups. The map for American lotus was 524.51 cM, and contained 177 markers distributed in 11 genetic linkage groups. The number of markers per linkage group ranged from three to 34 with an average genetic distance of 3.97 cM between adjacent markers. Moreover, 171 SSR markers contained in linkage groups were anchored to 97 genomic DNA sequence contigs of ‘Chinese Antique’. The 97 contigs were merged into 60 scaffolds.
Genetic mapping of SSR markers derived from sequenced contigs in Nelumbo enabled the associated contigs to be anchored in the linkage map and facilitated assembly of the genome sequences of ‘Chinese Antique’. The present study reports the first construction of genetic linkage maps for Nelumbo, which can serve as reference linkage maps to accelerate characterization germplasm, genetic mapping for traits of economic interest, and molecular breeding with marker-assisted selection.
PMCID: PMC3564711  PMID: 23170872
Genetic linkage map; Genome sequence; Nelumbo; SRAP; SSR

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