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Genetics. Apr 2002; 160(4): 1587–1597.
PMCID: PMC1462045

A deer (subfamily Cervinae) genetic linkage map and the evolution of ruminant genomes.


Comparative maps between ruminant species and humans are increasingly important tools for the discovery of genes underlying economically important traits. In this article we present a primary linkage map of the deer genome derived from an interspecies hybrid between red deer (Cervus elaphus) and Père David's deer (Elaphurus davidianus). The map is approximately 2500 cM long and contains >600 markers including both evolutionary conserved type I markers and highly polymorphic type II markers (microsatellites). Comparative mapping by annotation and sequence similarity (COMPASS) was demonstrated to be a useful tool for mapping bovine and ovine ESTs in deer. Using marker order as a phylogenetic character and comparative map information from human, mouse, deer, cattle, and sheep, we reconstructed the karyotype of the ancestral Pecoran mammal and identified the chromosome rearrangements that have occurred in the sheep, cattle, and deer lineages. The deer map and interspecies hybrid pedigrees described here are a valuable resource for (1) predicting the location of orthologs to human genes in ruminants, (2) mapping QTL in farmed and wild deer populations, and (3) ruminant phylogenetic studies.

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