Title: "From the Ground Up: Linkage Map Construction in Integrated Crosses"
Speaker: Emma Huang, Postdoctoral Fellow, CSIRO, Mathematical and Information Sciences, Macquarie University Campus North Ryde, Australia
Place: LILY G126; March 3, 2009, Tuesday, 4:30pm


The integrated cross is an exciting new experimental design which enables genomic regions housing genes of commercial significance to be detected with far greater precision than previously possible. By using four or eight parents rather than a traditional biparental design and breeding generations through to fixation, these crosses represent an abundance of genetic diversity with the potential for high mapping resolution. CSIRO is currently conducting the world's first integrated cross in wheat. This promises to be instrumental in unlocking the genetic secrets of agronomic, disease and quality traits of one of the world's most important domesticated crops.

While there are similarities between this project and the Collaborative Cross in mice, a key difference is in the lack of physical maps or genome sequence for wheat. Thus a crucial element for the success of the project is the production of highly accurate DNA marker maps. We have developed statistical methods and computational tools to address this challenge. We use two- and three-point haplotype probabilities to group and order loci within linkage groups. These algorithms and software have been tested through extensive simulations and will be applied to 4-way and 8-way cross data as it becomes available.

Associated reading:
Colin Cavanagh, Matthew Morell, Ian Mackay and Wayne Powell. 2008.
From mutations to MAGIC: resources for gene discovery, validation and delivery in crop plants.Current Opinion in Plant Biology, 11:215-221.

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