Use of VeraCode 384-plex assays for watermelon diversity analysis and integrated genetic map of watermelon with single nucleotide polymorphisms and simple sequence repeats
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- Nimmakayala, P., Abburi, V.L., Bhandary, A. et al. Mol Breeding (2014) 34: 537. doi:10.1007/s11032-014-0056-9
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Watermelon (Citrullus lanatus var. lanatus) is one of the most important vegetable crops in the world. Molecular markers have become the tools of choice for resolving watermelon taxonomic relationships and evolution. Increased numbers of single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) markers together with simple sequence repeat (SSR) markers would be useful for phylogenetic analyses of germplasm accessions and for linkage mapping for marker-assisted breeding with quantitative trait loci and single genes. We aimed to construct a genetic map based on SNPs (generated by Illumina Veracode multiplex assays for genotyping) and SSR markers and evaluate relationships inferred from SNP genotypes between 130 watermelon accessions collected throughout the world. We incorporated 282 markers (232 SNPs and 50 SSRs) into the linkage map. The genetic map consisted of 11 linkage groups spanning 924.72 cM with an average distance of 3.28 cM between markers. Because all of the SNP-containing sequences were assembled with the whole-genome sequence draft for watermelon, chromosome numbers could be readily assigned for all the linkage groups. We found that 134 SNPs were polymorphic in 130 watermelon accessions chosen for diversity studies. The current 384-plex SNP set is a powerful tool for characterizing genetic relatedness and for developing medium-resolution genetic maps.