High-density genetic linkage mapping in Sitka spruce advances the integration of genomic resources in conifers

Hayley Tumas*, Joana J Ilska, Sebastien Gérardi, Jerome Laroche, Stuart A'Hara, Brian Boyle, Mateja Janes, Paul McLean, Gustavo Lopez, Steve J Lee, Joan Cottrell, Gregor Gorjanc, Jean Bousquet, John A Woolliams, John J MacKay*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

In species with large and complex genomes such as conifers, dense linkage maps are a useful resource for supporting genome assembly and laying the genomic groundwork at the structural, populational, and functional levels. However, most of the 600+ extant conifer species still lack extensive genotyping resources, which hampers the development of high-density linkage maps. In this study, we developed a linkage map relying on 21,570 single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) markers in Sitka spruce (Picea sitchensis [Bong.] Carr.), a long-lived conifer from western North America that is widely planted for productive forestry in the British Isles. We used a single-step mapping approach to efficiently combine RAD-seq and genotyping array SNP data for 528 individuals from 2 full-sib families. As expected for spruce taxa, the saturated map contained 12 linkages groups with a total length of 2,142 cM. The positioning of 5,414 unique gene coding sequences allowed us to compare our map with that of other Pinaceae species, which provided evidence for high levels of synteny and gene order conservation in this family. We then developed an integrated map for P. sitchensis and Picea glauca based on 27,052 markers and 11,609 gene sequences. Altogether, these 2 linkage maps, the accompanying catalog of 286,159 SNPs and the genotyping chip developed, herein, open new perspectives for a variety of fundamental and more applied research objectives, such as for the improvement of spruce genome assemblies, or for marker-assisted sustainable management of genetic resources in Sitka spruce and related species.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-14
Number of pages14
JournalG3: Genes | Genomes | Genetics
Issue number4
Early online date15 Feb 2024
Publication statusPublished - 4 Apr 2024

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • exome capture
  • genetic map integration
  • comparative genomics
  • Pinaceae
  • SNP discovery
  • Plant Genetics and Genomics


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