Aligned genetic linkage maps of apple rootstock cultivar ‘JM7’ and Malus sieboldii ‘Sanashi 63’ constructed with novel EST-SSRs
Identification of markers associated with genes of interest and quantitative trait loci (QTLs), combined with high-density genetic linkage maps, can help reduce labor and costs by enabling marker-assisted selection (MAS). In this study, a dwarfing apple rootstock cultivar ‘JM7’ (Malus prunifolia × Malus pumila ‘Malling 9’) and wild apple Malus sieboldii ‘Sanashi 63’ (section Sorbomalus) were used for constructing genetic linkage maps. Here, a species from section Sorbomalus was used for the first time as a target species in a genome-wide mapping study. We also developed and mapped 137 novel-expressed sequence tag-simple sequence repeat (EST-SSR) markers. The genetic linkage maps of ‘JM7’ and ‘Sanashi 63’ consisted of 415 and 310 loci and spanned 998.0 and 981.8 cM, respectively, comparable to the reference map of Malus × domestica ‘Discovery’. A BLASTN search revealed that all of the EST-SSR sequences used in this study exhibited very high homology to one or more previously characterized apple genome contigs. Although the most homologous contigs of 89 EST-SSRs were located within the same linkage groups (LGs) identified by mapping analysis, the other 48 EST-SSRs were aligned into contigs positioned in different LGs than those identified by mapping. When search criteria were expanded to include the five most homologous contigs of each EST-SSR, at least one of the top five contigs for 15 of these 48 EST-SSRs corresponded to the LG obtained by mapping. The maps of ‘JM7’ and ‘Sanashi 63’ may be useful for analyzing important rootstock characteristics and identifying markers for MAS.
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