Wednesday, January 25, 2012

A High Resolution Genetic Map Anchoring Scaffolds of the Sequenced Watermelon Genome

As part of our ongoing efforts to sequence and map the watermelon (Citrullus spp.) genome, we have constructed a high density genetic linkage map. The map positioned 234 watermelon genome sequence scaffolds (an average size of 1.41 Mb) that cover about 330 Mb and account for 93.5% of the 353 Mb of the assembled genomic sequences of the elite Chinese watermelon line 97103 (Citrullus lanatus var. lanatus).
The genetic map was constructed using an F8 population of 103 recombinant inbred lines (RILs). The RILs are derived from a cross between the line 97103 and the United States Plant Introduction (PI) 296341-FR (C. lanatus var. citroides) that contains resistance to fusarium wilt (races 0, 1, and 2). The genetic map consists of eleven linkage groups that include 698 simple sequence repeat (SSR), 219 insertion-deletion (InDel) and 36 structure variation (SV) markers and spans ~800 cM with a mean marker interval of 0.8 cM. Using fluorescent in situ hybridization (FISH) with 11 BACs that produced chromosome-specifc signals, we have depicted watermelon chromosomes that correspond to the eleven linkage groups constructed in this study. The high resolution genetic map developed here should be a useful platform for the assembly of the watermelon genome, for the development of sequence-based markers used in breeding programs, and for the identification of genes associated with important agricultural traits.


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