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1.  Mechanisms of haplotype divergence at the RGA08 nucleotide-binding leucine-rich repeat gene locus in wild banana (Musa balbisiana) 
BMC Plant Biology  2010;10:149.
Comparative sequence analysis of complex loci such as resistance gene analog clusters allows estimating the degree of sequence conservation and mechanisms of divergence at the intraspecies level. In banana (Musa sp.), two diploid wild species Musa acuminata (A genome) and Musa balbisiana (B genome) contribute to the polyploid genome of many cultivars. The M. balbisiana species is associated with vigour and tolerance to pests and disease and little is known on the genome structure and haplotype diversity within this species. Here, we compare two genomic sequences of 253 and 223 kb corresponding to two haplotypes of the RGA08 resistance gene analog locus in M. balbisiana "Pisang Klutuk Wulung" (PKW).
Sequence comparison revealed two regions of contrasting features. The first is a highly colinear gene-rich region where the two haplotypes diverge only by single nucleotide polymorphisms and two repetitive element insertions. The second corresponds to a large cluster of RGA08 genes, with 13 and 18 predicted RGA genes and pseudogenes spread over 131 and 152 kb respectively on each haplotype. The RGA08 cluster is enriched in repetitive element insertions, in duplicated non-coding intergenic sequences including low complexity regions and shows structural variations between haplotypes. Although some allelic relationships are retained, a large diversity of RGA08 genes occurs in this single M. balbisiana genotype, with several RGA08 paralogs specific to each haplotype. The RGA08 gene family has evolved by mechanisms of unequal recombination, intragenic sequence exchange and diversifying selection. An unequal recombination event taking place between duplicated non-coding intergenic sequences resulted in a different RGA08 gene content between haplotypes pointing out the role of such duplicated regions in the evolution of RGA clusters. Based on the synonymous substitution rate in coding sequences, we estimated a 1 million year divergence time for these M. balbisiana haplotypes.
A large RGA08 gene cluster identified in wild banana corresponds to a highly variable genomic region between haplotypes surrounded by conserved flanking regions. High level of sequence identity (70 to 99%) of the genic and intergenic regions suggests a recent and rapid evolution of this cluster in M. balbisiana.
PMCID: PMC3017797  PMID: 20637079
2.  A saturated SSR/DArT linkage map of Musa acuminata addressing genome rearrangements among bananas 
BMC Plant Biology  2010;10:65.
The genus Musa is a large species complex which includes cultivars at diploid and triploid levels. These sterile and vegetatively propagated cultivars are based on the A genome from Musa acuminata, exclusively for sweet bananas such as Cavendish, or associated with the B genome (Musa balbisiana) in cooking bananas such as Plantain varieties. In M. acuminata cultivars, structural heterozygosity is thought to be one of the main causes of sterility, which is essential for obtaining seedless fruits but hampers breeding. Only partial genetic maps are presently available due to chromosomal rearrangements within the parents of the mapping populations. This causes large segregation distortions inducing pseudo-linkages and difficulties in ordering markers in the linkage groups. The present study aims at producing a saturated linkage map of M. acuminata, taking into account hypotheses on the structural heterozygosity of the parents.
An F1 progeny of 180 individuals was obtained from a cross between two genetically distant accessions of M. acuminata, 'Borneo' and 'Pisang Lilin' (P. Lilin). Based on the gametic recombination of each parent, two parental maps composed of SSR and DArT markers were established. A significant proportion of the markers (21.7%) deviated (p < 0.05) from the expected Mendelian ratios. These skewed markers were distributed in different linkage groups for each parent. To solve some complex ordering of the markers on linkage groups, we associated tools such as tree-like graphic representations, recombination frequency statistics and cytogenetical studies to identify structural rearrangements and build parsimonious linkage group order. An illustration of such an approach is given for the P. Lilin parent.
We propose a synthetic map with 11 linkage groups containing 489 markers (167 SSRs and 322 DArTs) covering 1197 cM. This first saturated map is proposed as a "reference Musa map" for further analyses. We also propose two complete parental maps with interpretations of structural rearrangements localized on the linkage groups. The structural heterozygosity in P. Lilin is hypothesized to result from a duplication likely accompanied by an inversion on another chromosome. This paper also illustrates a methodological approach, transferable to other species, to investigate the mapping of structural rearrangements and determine their consequences on marker segregation.
PMCID: PMC2923539  PMID: 20388207

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