Development of nuclear gene-derived molecular markers linked to legume genetic maps
The systematic identification of the orthologous features of related organisms greatly facilitates comparative genomics, including research on genome evolution and comparative genetic mapping. In this study, we selected 274 unique gene sequences for the development of PCR-based genetic markers across fifteen legume genomes, representing six crop or model legume species from the phaseoloid and inverted repeat loss clades (IRLC). DNA sequence analysis demonstrated that 129 of the amplified fragments represented single copy loci across most target diploid genomes. The majority of these markers are intron-spanning (70.5%) and linked to legume genetic maps (85.3%). The markers were grouped into four main categories: (1) intronspanning relatively conserved, (2) intron-spanning diverged, (3) exon-derived conserved, and (4) exon-derived diverged. The extent of sequence divergence within each category indicates that the corresponding markers may have utility for assessing phylogenetic relationships at different, but overlapping, taxonomic levels. We tested marker performance on genomes that had not been previously sampled, representing 95 different species that span the diversity of the Fabaceae. Phylogenetic analyses support the orthology of amplified sequences, with the notable exception of an ambiguous affiliation of Lotus relative to the IRLC and phaseoloid clades.
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