, Volume 8, Issue 5, pp 991-1002

A genetic linkage map of an apple rootstock progeny anchored to the Malus genome sequence

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An apple rootstock progeny raised from the cross between the very dwarfing ‘M.27’ and the more vigorous ‘M.116’ (‘M.M.106’ × ‘M.27’) was used for the construction of a linkage map comprising a total of 324 loci: 252 previously mapped SSRs, 71 newly characterised or previously unmapped SSR loci (including 36 amplified by 33 out of the 35 novel markers reported here), and the self-incompatibility locus. The map spanned the 17 linkage groups (LG) expected for apple covering a genetic distance of 1,229.5 cM, an estimated 91% of the Malus genome. Linkage groups were well populated and, although marker density ranged from 2.3 to 6.2 cM/SSR, just 15 gaps of more than 15 cM were observed. Moreover, only 17.5% of markers displayed segregation distortion and, unsurprisingly in a semi-compatible backcross, distortion was particularly pronounced surrounding the self-incompatibility locus (S) at the bottom of LG17. DNA sequences of 273 SSR markers and the S locus, representing a total of 314 loci in this investigation, were used to anchor to the ‘Golden Delicious’ genome sequence. More than 260 of these loci were located on the expected pseudo-chromosome on the ‘Golden Delicious’ genome or on its homeologous pseudo-chromosome. In total, 282.4 Mbp of sequence from 142 genome sequence scaffolds of the Malus genome were anchored to the ‘M.27’ × ‘M.116’ map, providing an interface between the marker data and the underlying genome sequence. This will be exploited for the identification of genes responsible for traits of agronomic importance such as dwarfing and water use efficiency.

Communicated by A. Dandekar