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BMC Genomics. 2014 Dec 22;15:1158. doi: 10.1186/1471-2164-15-1158.

An SNP-based saturated genetic map and QTL analysis of fruit-related traits in cucumber using specific-length amplified fragment (SLAF) sequencing.

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State Key Laboratory of Crop Genetics and Germplasm Enhancement, College of Horticulture, Nanjing Agricultural University, Weigang Street No,1, Nanjing 210095, China.



Cucumber, Cucumis sativus L., is an economically important vegetable crop which is processed or consumed fresh worldwide. However, the narrow genetic base in cucumber makes it difficult for constructing high-density genetic maps. The development of massively parallel genotyping methods and next-generation sequencing (NGS) technologies provides an excellent opportunity for developing single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) for linkage map construction and QTL analysis of horticultural traits. Specific-length amplified fragment sequencing (SLAF-seq) is a recent marker development technology that allows large-scale SNP discovery and genotyping at a reasonable cost. In this study, we constructed a high-density SNP map for cucumber using SLAF-seq and detected fruit-related QTLs.


An F2 population of 148 individuals was developed from an intra-varietal cross between CC3 and NC76. Genomic DNAs extracted from two parents and 148 F2 individuals were subjected to high-throughput sequencing and SLAF library construction. A total of 10.76 Gb raw data and 75,024,043 pair-end reads were generated to develop 52,684 high-quality SLAFs, out of which 5,044 were polymorphic. 4,817 SLAFs were encoded and grouped into different segregation patterns. A high-resolution genetic map containing 1,800 SNPs was constructed for cucumber spanning 890.79 cM. The average distance between adjacent markers was 0.50 cM. 183 scaffolds were anchored to the SNP-based genetic map covering 46% (168.9 Mb) of the cucumber genome (367 Mb). Nine QTLs for fruit length and weight were detected, a QTL designated fl3.2 explained 44.60% of the phenotypic variance. Alignment of the SNP markers to draft genome scaffolds revealed two mis-assembled scaffolds that were validated by fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH).


We report herein the development of evenly dispersed SNPs across cucumber genome, and for the first time an SNP-based saturated linkage map. This 1,800-locus map would likely facilitate genetic mapping of complex QTL loci controlling fruit yield, and the orientation of draft genome scaffolds.

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