The quail is a valuable farm and laboratory animal. Yet molecular information about this species remains scarce. We present here the first genetic linkage map of the Japanese quail. This comprehensive map is based solely on amplified fragment length polymorphism (AFLP) markers. These markers were developed and genotyped in an F2 progeny from a cross between two lines of quail differing in stress reactivity. A total of 432 polymorphic AFLP markers were detected with 24 TaqI/EcoRI primer combinations. On average, 18 markers were produced per primer combination. Two hundred and fifty eight of the polymorphic markers were assigned to 39 autosomal linkage groups plus the ZW sex chromosome linkage groups. The linkage groups range from 2 to 28 markers and from 0.0 to 195.5 cM. The AFLP map covers a total length of 1516 cM, with an average genetic distance between two consecutive markers of 7.6 cM. This AFLP map can be enriched with other marker types, especially mapped chicken genes that will enable to link the maps of both species and make use of the powerful comparative mapping approach. This AFLP map of the Japanese quail already provides an efficient tool for quantitative trait loci (QTL) mapping.
Keywords:Japanese quail; AFLP; genetic map; linkage groups; chromosomes
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