Background: Comparative genomics, through the integration of genetic maps from species of interest with whole genome sequences of other species, will facilitate the identification of genes affecting phenotypes of interest. The development of microsatellite markers from expressed sequence tags will serve to increase marker densities on current salmonid genetic maps and initiate in silico comparative maps with species whose genomes have been fully sequenced.
Results: Eighty-nine polymorphic microsatellite markers were generated for rainbow trout of which at least 74 amplify in other salmonids. Fifty-five have been associated with functional annotation and 30 were mapped on existing genetic maps. Homologous sequences were identified for 20 of the EST containing microsatellites to identify comparative assignments within the tetraodon, mouse, and/or human genomes.
Conclusion: The addition of microsatellite markers constructed from expressed sequence tag data will facilitate the development of high-density genetic maps for rainbow trout and comparative maps with other salmonids and better studied species.