Evaluation of SNP Data from the Malus Infinium Array Identifies Challenges for Genetic Analysis of Complex Genomes of Polyploid Origin
High throughput arrays for the simultaneous genotyping of thousands of single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) have made the rapid genetic characterisation of plant genomes and the development of saturated linkage maps a realistic prospect for many plant species of agronomic importance. However, the correct calling of SNP genotypes in divergent polyploid genomes using array technology can be problematic due to paralogy, and to divergence in probe sequences causing changes in probe binding efficiencies. An Illumina Infinium II whole-genome genotyping array was recently developed for the cultivated apple and used to develop a molecular linkage map for an apple rootstock progeny (M432), but a large proportion of segregating SNPs were not mapped in the progeny, due to unexpected genotype clustering patterns. To investigate the causes of this unexpected clustering we performed BLAST analysis of all probe sequences against the 'Golden Delicious' genome sequence and discovered evidence for paralogous annealing sites and probe sequence divergence for a high proportion of probes contained on the array. Following visual re-evaluation of the genotyping data generated for 8,788 SNPs for the M432 progeny using the array, we manually re-scored genotypes at 818 loci and mapped a further 797 markers to the M432 linkage map. The newly mapped markers included the majority of those that could not be mapped previously, as well as loci that were previously scored as monomorphic, but which segregated due to divergence leading to heterozygosity in probe annealing sites. An evaluation of the 8,788 probes in a diverse collection of Malus germplasm showed that more than half the probes returned genotype clustering patterns that were difficult or impossible to interpret reliably, highlighting implications for the use of the array in genome-wide association studies.
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