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Generation and application of genomic tools as important prerequisites for sugar beet genome analyses.


Lange,  Cornelia
Dept. of Vertebrate Genomics (Head: Hans Lehrach), Max Planck Institute for Molecular Genetics, Max Planck Society;

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Lange, C. (2010). Generation and application of genomic tools as important prerequisites for sugar beet genome analyses. PhD Thesis, Freie Universität Berlin, Berlin.

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Genetic and physical maps of a genome are essential tools for structural, functional and applied genomics. Genetic maps allow the detection of quantitative trait loci (QTLs), the characterisation of QTL effects and facilitate marker-assisted selection (MAS). The characterisation of genome structure and analysis of evolution is augmented by physical maps. Whole genome physical maps or ultimately complete genomic sequences, respectively, of a species display frameworks that provide essential information for understanding processes in respect to physiology, morphology, development and genetics. However, comprehensive annotation underpins the values a genome sequence or physical map represents. An important task of genome annotation is the linkage of genetic traits to the genome sequence, which is facilitated by integrated genetic and physical maps. In the context of this study several sugar beet (Beta vulgaris L.) genomic tools were developed and applied for evolutionary studies and linkage analysis. A new technique allowing high-throughput identification and genotyping of genetic markers was developed, utilising representational oligonucleotide microarray analysis (ROMA). We tested the performance of the method in sugar beet as a model for crop plants with little sequence information available. Genomic representations of both parents of a mapping population were hybridised on microarrays containing custom oligonucleotides based on sugar beet bacterial artificial chromosome (BAC) end sequences (BESs) and expressed sequence tags (ESTs). Subsequent analysis identified potential polymorphic oligonucleotides, which were placed on new microarrays used for screening of 184 F2 individuals. Exploiting known co-dominant anchor markers, we obtained 511 new dominant markers distributed over all nine sugar beet linkage groups and calculated genetic maps. Besides the method´s transferability to other species, the obtained genetic markers will be an asset for ordering of sequence contigs in the context of the ongoing sugar beet genome sequencing project. In addition, possible linkage of physical and genetic maps was provided, since genetic markers were based on source sequences, which were also used for construction of a BAC based physical map utilising a hybridisation approach. An example of the hybridisation based approach for physical map construction and its application for synteny studies was demonstrated. Since little is known about synteny between rosids and Caryophyllales so far, we analysed the extent of synteny between the genomic sequences of two BAC clones derived from two different Beta vulgaris haplotypes and rosid genomes. For selection of the two BAC clones we hybridised 30 oligonucleotide probes based on ESTs corresponding to Arabidopsis orthologs on chromosomes 1 and 4 that were presumably co-localised in the reconstructed Arabidopsis pseudo ancestral genome (Blanc et al. 2003) on sugar beet BAC macroarrays comprising two different sugar beet libraries. A total of 27,648 clones were screened per sugar beet library, corresponding to 4.4-fold and 5.5-fold, respectively, sugar beet genome coverage. We obtained four and five positive clones for the probes on average. Two clones, one from each haplotype that were positive with the same five EST probes, were selected and their genomic sequences were determined, annotated and exploited for synteny studies. Furthermore, I constructed and characterised a sugar beet fosmid library from the doubled haploid accession KWS2320 encompassing 115,200 independent clones. The insert size of the fosmid library was determined by pulsed field gel electrophoresis to be 39 kbp on average, thus representing 5.9-fold coverage of the sugar beet genome. Fosmids bear the advantage of narrowly defined size of the clone inserts, thus fosmid end sequences will essentially contribute to the future assembly and ordering of sequence contigs. Since repeats are a major obstacle for successful assembly of plant genome sequences, frequently causing gaps and misassembled contigs, I generated a genomic short-insert library. The short-insert library facilitated repeat identification within the sugar beet genome, which was exemplarily shown for three miniature inverted-repeat transposable element (MITE) families. Altogether this work contributed substantially to a deeper understanding of the genome structure of sugar beet and provided the basis for successful sequencing of the sugar beet genome.