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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1991 Nov 1;88(21):9828-32.

Identification of markers linked to disease-resistance genes by bulked segregant analysis: a rapid method to detect markers in specific genomic regions by using segregating populations.

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Department of Vegetable Crops, University of California, Davis 95616.


We developed bulked segregant analysis as a method for rapidly identifying markers linked to any specific gene or genomic region. Two bulked DNA samples are generated from a segregating population from a single cross. Each pool, or bulk, contains individuals that are identical for a particular trait or genomic region but arbitrary at all unlinked regions. The two bulks are therefore genetically dissimilar in the selected region but seemingly heterozygous at all other regions. The two bulks can be made for any genomic region and from any segregating population. The bulks are screened for differences using restriction fragment length polymorphism probes or random amplified polymorphic DNA primers. We have used bulked segregant analysis to identify three random amplified polymorphic DNA markers in lettuce linked to a gene for resistance to downy mildew. We showed that markers can be reliably identified in a 25-centimorgan window on either side of the targeted locus. Bulked segregant analysis has several advantages over the use of near-isogenic lines to identify markers in specific regions of the genome. Genetic walking will be possible by multiple rounds of bulked segregation analysis; each new pair of bulks will differ at a locus identified in the previous round of analysis. This approach will have widespread application both in those species where selfing is possible and in those that are obligatorily outbreeding.

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