Construction of Microsatellite Linkage Maps for Corymbia

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The genus Corymbia is closely related to the genus Eucalyptus, and like Eucalyptus contains tree species that are important for sub-tropical forestry. Corymbia’s close relationship with Eucalyptus suggests genetic studies in Corymbia should benefit from transfer of genetic information from its more intensively studied relatives. Here we report a genetic map for Corymbia spp. based on microsatellite markers identified de novo in Corymbia sp or transferred from Eucalyptus. A framework consensus map was generated from an outbred F2 population (n = 90) created by crossing two unrelated Corymbia torelliana × C. citriodora subsp. variegata F1 trees. The map had a total length of 367 cM (Kosambi) and was composed of 46 microsatellite markers distributed across 13 linkage groups (LOD 3). A high proportion of Eucalyptus microsatellites (90%) transferred to Corymbia. Comparative analysis between the Corymbia map and a published Eucalyptus map identified eight homeologous linkage groups in Corymbia with 13 markers mapping on one or both maps. Further comparative analysis was limited by low power to detect linkage due to low genome coverage in Corymbia, however, there was no convincing evidence for chromosomal structural differences because instances of non-synteny were associated with large distances on the Eucalyptus map. Segregation distortion was primarily restricted to a single linkage group and due to a deficit of hybrid genotypes, suggesting that hybrid inviability was one factor shaping the genetic composition of the F2 population in this inter-subgeneric hybrid. The conservation of microsatellite loci and synteny between Corymbia and Eucalyptus suggests there will be substantial value in exchanging information between the two groups.

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