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BMC Genomics. 2005 May 19;6:74.

Linkage mapping bovine EST-based SNP.

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  • 1US Meat Animal Research Center, Agricultural Research Service, US Department of Agriculture, Clay Center, Nebraska 68933-0166, USA. snelling@email.marc.usda.gov



Existing linkage maps of the bovine genome primarily contain anonymous microsatellite markers. These maps have proved valuable for mapping quantitative trait loci (QTL) to broad regions of the genome, but more closely spaced markers are needed to fine-map QTL, and markers associated with genes and annotated sequence are needed to identify genes and sequence variation that may explain QTL.


Bovine expressed sequence tag (EST) and bacterial artificial chromosome (BAC)sequence data were used to develop 918 single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) markers to map genes on the bovine linkage map. DNA of sires from the MARC reference population was used to detect SNPs, and progeny and mates of heterozygous sires were genotyped. Chromosome assignments for 861 SNPs were determined by twopoint analysis, and positions for 735 SNPs were established by multipoint analyses. Linkage maps of bovine autosomes with these SNPs represent 4585 markers in 2475 positions spanning 3058 cM. Markers include 3612 microsatellites, 913 SNPs and 60 other markers. Mean separation between marker positions is 1.2 cM. New SNP markers appear in 511 positions, with mean separation of 4.7 cM. Multi-allelic markers, mostly microsatellites, had a mean (maximum) of 216 (366) informative meioses, and a mean 3-lod confidence interval of 3.6 cM Bi-allelic markers, including SNP and other marker types, had a mean (maximum) of 55 (191) informative meioses, and were placed within a mean 8.5 cM 3-lod confidence interval. Homologous human sequences were identified for 1159 markers, including 582 newly developed and mapped SNP.


Addition of these EST- and BAC-based SNPs to the bovine linkage map not only increases marker density, but provides connections to gene-rich physical maps, including annotated human sequence. The map provides a resource for fine-mapping quantitative trait loci and identification of positional candidate genes, and can be integrated with other data to guide and refine assembly of bovine genome sequence. Even after the bovine genome is completely sequenced, the map will continue to be a useful tool to link observable phenotypes and animal genotypes to underlying genes and molecular mechanisms influencing economically important beef and dairy traits.

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