Linkage mapping in tetraploid willows: segregation of molecular markers and estimation of linkage phases support an allotetraploid structure for Salix alba x Salix fragilis interspecific hybrids

Heredity (Edinb). 2003 Feb;90(2):169-80. doi: 10.1038/sj.hdy.6800213.


Salix alba-Salix fragilis complex includes closely related dioecious polyploid species, which are obligate outcrossers. Natural populations of these willows and their hybrids are represented by a mixture of highly heterozygous genotypes sharing a common gene pool. Since nothing is known about their genomic constitution, tetraploidy (2n=4x=76) in willow species makes basic and applied genetic studies difficult. We have used a two-way pseudotestcross strategy and single-dose markers (SDMs) to construct the first linkage maps for both pistillate and staminate willows. A total of 242 amplified fragment length polymorphisms (AFLPs) and 50 selective amplifications of microsatellite polymorphic loci (SAMPL) markers, which showed 1:1 segregation in the F(1) mapping populations, were used in linkage analysis. In S. alba, 73 maternal and 48 paternal SDMs were mapped to 19 and 16 linkage groups covering 708 and 339 cM, respectively. In S. fragilis, 13 maternal and 33 paternal SDMs were mapped in six and 14 linkage groups covering 98 and 321 cM, respectively. For most cosegregation groups, a comparable number of markers linked in coupling and repulsion was identified. This finding suggests that most of chromosomes pair preferentially as occurs in allotetraploid species exhibiting disomic inheritance. The detection of 10 pairs of marker alleles from single parents showing codominant inheritance strengthens this hypothesis. The fact that, of the 1122 marker loci identified in the two male and female parents, the vast majority (77.5%) were polymorphic and as few as 22.5% were shared between parental species highlight that S. alba and S. fragilis genotypes are differentiated. The highly difference between S. alba- and S. fragilis-specific markers found in both parental combinations (on average, 65.3 vs 34.7%, respectively) supports the (phylogenetic) hypothesis that S. fragilis is derived from S. alba-like progenitors.

MeSH terms

  • Chromosome Mapping*
  • Chromosomes, Plant*
  • Crosses, Genetic
  • Genetic Markers
  • Hybridization, Genetic
  • Polymorphism, Genetic
  • Polyploidy*
  • Salix / genetics*


  • Genetic Markers