Genetic mapping of EST-derived simple sequence repeats (EST-SSRs) to identify QTL for leaf morphological characters in a Quercus robur full-sib family

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The availability of genomic resources such as expressed sequence tag-derived simple sequence repeat (EST-SSR) markers in adaptive genes with high transferability across related species allows the construction of genetic maps and the comparison of genome structure and quantitative trait loci (QTL) positions. In the present study, genetic linkage maps were constructed for both parents of a Quercus robur × Q. robur ssp. slavonica full-sib pedigree. A total of 182 markers (61 AFLPs, 23 nuclear SSRs, 98 EST-SSRs) and 172 markers (49 AFLPs, 21 nSSRs, 101 EST-SSRs, 1 isozyme) were mapped on the female and male linkage maps, respectively. The total map length and average marker spacing were 1,038 and 5.7 cM for the female map and 998.5 and 5.8 cM for the male map. A total of 68 nuclear SSRs and EST-SSRs segregating in both parents allowed to define homologous linkage groups (LG) between both parental maps. QTL for leaf morphological traits were mapped on all 12 LG at a chromosome-wide level and on 6 LG at a genome-wide level. The phenotypic effects explained by each single QTL ranged from 4.0 % for leaf area to 15.8 % for the number of intercalary veins. QTL clusters for leaf characters that discriminate between Q. robur and Quercus petraea were mapped reproducibly on three LG, and some putative candidate genes among potentially many others were identified on LG3 and LG5. Genetic linkage maps based on EST-SSRs can be valuable tools for the identification of genes involved in adaptive trait variation and for comparative mapping. © 2013 Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg.

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Tree Genetics and Genomes