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Genomics. 2006 Jan;87(1):30-8.

An initial genetic linkage map of the rhesus macaque (Macaca mulatta) genome using human microsatellite loci.

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  • 1Department of Genetics, Southwest Foundation for Biomedical Research, 7620 N.W., Loop 410, San Antonio, TX 78227, USA.


Rhesus macaques (Macaca mulatta) are the most widely used nonhuman primate species in biomedical research. To create new opportunities for genetic and genomic studies using rhesus monkeys, we constructed a genetic linkage map of the rhesus genome. This map consists of 241 microsatellite loci, all previously mapped in the human genome. These polymorphisms were genotyped in five pedigrees of rhesus monkeys totaling 865 animals. The resulting linkage map covers 2048 cM including all 20 rhesus autosomes, with average spacing between markers of 9.3 cM. Average heterozygosity among those markers is 0.73. This linkage map provides new comparative information concerning locus order and interlocus distances in humans and rhesus monkeys. The map will facilitate whole-genome linkage screens to locate quantitative trait loci (QTLs) that influence individual variation in phenotypic traits related to basic primate anatomy, physiology, and behavior, as well as QTLs relevant to risk factors for human disease.

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