, Volume 1, Issue 3, pp 93-102

Analysis of the distribution of marker classes in a genetic linkage map: a case study in Norway spruce (Picea abies karst)

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Abstract

In order to analyze the large-scale structure of the genome of Norway spruce (Picea abies Karst.), a pseudo-testcross genetic linkage map was built using markers of six different types, belonging to the low (amplified fragment length polymorphisms, simple sequence repeats) or high (sequence-specific amplified polymorphisms, inter-retrotransposon amplified polymorphisms) copy-number fraction of the genome, and including expressed region-derived markers (expressed sequence tag polymorphisms). Twenty seven and 23 linkage groups of at least four markers were obtained for the female and the male parent maps, respectively. A subset of these linkage groups coalesced into 13 bi-parental linkage groups through markers shared between the two maps. This map was used to investigate the frequency of each marker type over chromosomes and the distribution of marker types relative to each other, using autocorrelation techniques. Our results show that, while the composition of chromosomes is homogeneous, low- and high-copy-number markers tend to occupy separate regions of the linkage groups, and that expressed sequences are preferentially associated with microsatellites and separated from retrotransposons. These results indicate that the spatial structure of Norway spruce chromosomes is not homogeneous.