An SSR- and AFLP-based genetic linkage map of tall fescue (Festuca arundinacea Schreb.).
Tall fescue (Festuca arundinacea Schreb.) is commonly grown as forage and turf grass in the temperate regions of the world. Here, we report the first genetic map of tall fescue constructed with PCR-based markers. A combination of amplified fragment length polymorphisms (AFLPs) and expressed sequence tag-simple sequence repeats (EST-SSRs) of both tall fescue and those conserved in grass species was used for map construction. Genomic SSRs developed from Festuca × Lolium hybrids were also mapped. Two parental maps were initially constructed using a two-way pseudotestcross mapping strategy. The female (HD28-56) map included 558 loci placed in 22 linkage groups (LGs) and covered 2,013 cM of the genome. In the male (R43-64) map, 579 loci were grouped in 22 LGs with a total map length of 1,722 cM. The marker density in the two maps varied from 3.61 cM (female parent) to 2.97 (male parent) cM per marker. These differences in map length indicated a reduced level of recombination in the male parent. Markers that revealed polymorphism within both parents and showed 3:1 segregation ratios were used as bridging loci to integrate the two parental maps as a bi-parental consensus. The integrated map covers 1,841 cM on 17 LGs, with an average of 54 loci per LG, and has an average marker density of 2.0 cM per marker. Homoeologous relationships among linkage groups of six of the seven predicted homeologous groups were identified. Three small groups from the HD28-56 map and four from the R43-64 map are yet to be integrated. Homoeologues of four of those groups were detected. Except for a few gaps, markers are well distributed throughout the genome. Clustering of those markers showing significant segregation distortion (23% of total) was observed in four of the LGs of the integrated map.