The use of comparative genome analysis and syntenic relationships allows extrapolating the position of Zn tolerance QTL regions from Arabidopsis halleri into Arabidopsis thaliana
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Arabidopsis halleri is a species that has undergone natural selection for zinc (Zn) tolerance. Isolation of the quantitative trait loci (QTL) associated with this trait holds great promise for the identification of the main genes responsible for this adaptation. Using a segregating progeny produced by an interspecific cross, we previously constructed a genetic linkage map of A. halleri × A. lyrata petraea and mapped the three main QTL that confer Zn tolerance in A. halleri (Willems et al.). The goal of the present study is to compare the genetic linkage map of A. halleri × A. l. petraea to the annotated A. thaliana genome sequence to generate a tool for A. halleri genomic approaches. To achieve this aim, we constructed a genetic linkage map with 81 markers anchored on A. thaliana, including 23 genes known to be involved in metal homeostasis. First, this provided an extensive overview of the chromosomal rearrangements that have occurred since the divergence between A. thaliana and its closest relative A. halleri. Second, on the basis of the syntenic relationships assessed experimentally through this work, we transferred the QTL confidence intervals for Zn tolerance to the A. thaliana physical map, allowing access to all the genes localized in the corresponding regions. Third, we validated from the 23 genes involved in metal homeostasis the three ones localized in the QTL regions that can be considered the best candidates for conferring Zn tolerance.
KeywordsArabidopsis halleri Zinc tolerance QTL mapping Synteny
The authors thank Aude Bodin for technical support in the genetic mapping. This work was supported by funding from the Contrat de Plan Etat/Région Nord-Pas de Calais (PRC), from the European FEDER (contract no. 79/1769), from the BRG (contract no. 92), and from the INSU–CNRS program ACI ECCO (contract no. 04 2 9 FNS). G. Willems was funded by the European Research Training Network “Metalhome” (HPRN-CT-2002-00243), and N. Roosens by the Marie Curie intra-European Fellowship “Metolevol” (contract no. 024683 MEIF-CT-2005-0224683).
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