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Mol Ecol. 2011 Feb;20(4):784-98. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-294X.2010.04981.x. Epub 2011 Jan 11.

A comparative genomic map for Caulanthus amplexicaulis and related species (Brassicaceae).

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Department of Biology, Texas A&M University, MS 3258, College Station, TX 77843-3258, USA.


Adaptation to environment is the cornerstone of ecological genetics. The subject of this study is a wild relative of the sequenced and annotated model plant species, Arabidopsis thaliana. Caulanthus amplexicaulis var. barbarae lives on serpentine soils, known for high concentrations of heavy metals and low concentrations of essential plant macronutrients, and provides a compelling example of an organism's adaptation to environment. We constructed an F(2) linkage map, using a cross to the nonserpentine sister taxon, C. amplexicaulis var. amplexicaulis. C. amplexicaulis is a member of a highly diverse set of taxa (within the tribe Thelypodieae), described here as the 'Streptanthoid Complex' that are adapted to a broad range of environments, yet share a common n = 14 chromosome number and likely arose by a recent radiation. The linkage map consists of 97 polymorphic microsatellite markers, and 40 exon-primed intron-crossing markers based on A. thaliana exon sequences and Brassica ESTs. The map covers 14 linkage groups and has a total length of 1513 cM. Both the patterns of marker segregation and the comparative map indicate that C. amplexicaulis is a diploid organism with a compact genome. All exon-primed intron-crossing markers, and an unexpectedly large number of microsatellite markers (83%), had significant similarity to the A. thaliana genome, facilitating the development of a comparative genome map. As a proof of principle, we used the comparative map to identify candidate genes underlying differences in sepal colour between the two parent taxa. We demonstrate that the genomic tools developed here will be portable throughout the Streptanthoid Complex.

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