Construction of an EST-SSR-based interspecific transcriptome linkage map of fibre development in cotton

Chuanxiang Liu, Daojun Yuan, Zhongxu Lin
Journal of Genetics 2014, 93 (3): 689-97
Quantitative trait locus (QTL) mapping is an important method in marker-assisted selection breeding. Many studies on the QTLs focus on cotton fibre yield and quality; however, most are conducted at the DNA level, which may reveal null QTLs. Hence, QTL mapping based on transcriptome maps at the cDNA level is often more reliable. In this study, an interspecific transcriptome map of allotetraploid cotton was developed based on an F2 population (Emian22 x 3-79) by amplifying cDNA using EST-SSRs. The map was constructed using cDNA obtained from developing fibres at five days post anthesis (DPA). A total of 1270 EST-SSRs were screened for polymorphisms between the mapping parents. The resulting transcriptome linkage map contained 242 markers that were distributed in 32 linkage groups (26 chromosomes). The full length of this map is 1938.72 cM with a mean marker distance of 8.01 cM. The functions of some ESTs have been annotated by exploring homologous sequences. Some markers were related to the differentiation and elongation of cotton fibre, while most were related to the basic metabolism. This study demonstrates that constructing a transcriptome linkage map by amplifying cDNAs using EST-SSRs is a simple and practical method as well as a powerful tool to map eQTLs for fibre quality and other traits in cotton.

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