Genome mapping of white clover (Trifolium repens L.) and comparative analysis within the Trifolieae using cross-species SSR markers

Theor Appl Genet. 2007 May;114(8):1367-78. doi: 10.1007/s00122-007-0523-3. Epub 2007 Mar 14.


Allotetraploid white clover (Trifolium repens L.), a cool-season perennial legume used extensively as forage for livestock, is an important target for marker-assisted breeding. A genetic linkage map of white clover was constructed using simple sequence repeat (SSR) markers based on sequences from several Trifolieae species, including white clover, red clover (T. pratense L.), Medicago truncatula (Gaertn.) and soybean (Glycine max L.). An F(1) population consisting of 179 individuals, from a cross between two highly heterozygous genotypes, GA43 and Southern Regional Virus Resistant, was used for genetic mapping. A total of 1,571 SSR markers were screened for amplification and polymorphism using DNA from two parents and 14 F(1)s of the mapping population. The map consists of 415 loci amplified from 343 SSR primer pairs, including 83 from white clover, 181 from red clover, 77 from M. truncatula, and two from soybean. Linkage groups for all eight homoeologous chromosome pairs of allotetraploid white clover were detected. Map length was estimated at 1,877 cM with 87% genome coverage. Map density was approximately 5 cM per locus. Segregation distortion was detected in six segments of the genome (homoeologous groups A1, A2, B1, B2, C1, and D1). A comparison of map locations of markers originating from white clover, red clover, and alfalfa (M. sativa L.) revealed putative macro-colinearity between the three Trifolieae species. This map can be used to link quantitative trait loci with SSR markers, and accelerate the improvement of white clover by marker-assisted selection and breeding.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Chromosome Mapping*
  • DNA Primers
  • Genetic Linkage
  • Genetic Markers
  • Genome, Plant*
  • Medicago sativa / genetics
  • Medicago truncatula / genetics
  • Minisatellite Repeats*
  • Sequence Analysis, DNA*
  • Species Specificity
  • Trifolium / genetics*


  • DNA Primers
  • Genetic Markers