We report the most complete genetic map to have been constructed for the genus Populus. This map includes 544 markers mapped onto 19 linkage groups, equivalent to the Populus chromosome number, with all markers displaying internally consistent linkage patterns. We estimate the genome length to be between 2,300 and 2,500 cM, based both on the observed number of crossovers in the maternal haplotypes, as well as the total observed map length. Genome coverage was estimated to be greater than 99.9% at 20 cM per marker. We did not detect obvious recombination repression in the maternal tree (a hybrid of Populus trichocarpa Hooker x P. deltoides Marsh.) compared to the paternal tree (pure P. deltoides). Finally, most markers exhibiting segregation distortion were derived from the donor parent in this backcross, and generally occurred in large contiguous blocks on two linkage groups. We hypothesize that divergent selection has occurred on chromosomal scales among the parental species used to create this pedigree, and explore the evolutionary implications of this observation. This genetic linkage map provides the most comprehensive view of the Populus genome reported to date and will prove invaluable for future inquiries into the structural and functional genomics, evolutionary biology, and genetic improvement of this ecologically important model species.
Copyright 2004 Springer-Verlag