A potato molecular-function map for carbohydrate metabolism and transport
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Molecular-linkage maps based on functional gene markers (molecular-function maps) are the prerequisite for a candidate-gene approach to identify genes responsible for quantitative traits at the molecular level. Genetic linkage between a quantitative trait locus (QTL) and a candidate-gene locus is observed when there is a causal relationship between alleles of the candidate gene and the QTL effect. Functional gene markers can also be used for marker-assisted selection and as anchors for structural and functional comparisons between distantly related plant species sharing the same metabolic pathways. A first molecular-function map with 85 loci was constructed in potato based on 69 genes. Priority was given to genes operating in carbohydrate metabolism and transport. Public databases were searched for genes of interest from potato, tomato, or other plant species. DNA sequence information was used to develop PCR-based marker assays that allowed the localization of corresponding potato genes on existing RFLP linkage maps. Comparing the molecular-function map for genes operating in carbohydrate metabolism and transport with a QTL map for tuber starch content indicates a number of putative candidate genes for this important agronomic trait.
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