Integrating genetic linkage maps with pachytene chromosome structure in maize



2004 Apr;166(4):1923-33.


Genetic linkage maps reveal the order of markers based on the frequency of recombination between markers during meiosis. Because the rate of recombination varies along chromosomes, it has been difficult to relate linkage maps to chromosome structure. Here we use cytological maps of crossing over based on recombination nodules (RNs) to predict the physical position of genetic markers on each of the 10 chromosomes of maize. This is possible because (1). all 10 maize chromosomes can be individually identified from spreads of synaptonemal complexes, (2). each RN corresponds to one crossover, and (3). the frequency of RNs on defined chromosomal segments can be converted to centimorgan values. We tested our predictions for chromosome 9 using seven genetically mapped, single-copy markers that were independently mapped on pachytene chromosomes using in situ hybridization. The correlation between predicted and observed locations was very strong (r(2) = 0.996), indicating a virtual 1:1 correspondence. Thus, this new, high-resolution, cytogenetic map enables one to predict the chromosomal location of any genetically mapped marker in maize with a high degree of accuracy. This novel approach can be applied to other organisms as well