The Plant Genome 8(2) (Jul 10 2015)
Switchgrass (Panicum virgatum L.) is a warm-season perennial grass with promising potential as a bioenergy crop in the United States. However, the lack of genomic resources has slowed the development of plant lines with optimal characteristics for sustainable feedstock production. We generated high-density single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) linkage maps using a reduced-representation sequencing approach by genotyping 231 F1 progeny of a cross between two parents of lowland ecotype from the cultivars Kanlow and Alamo. Over 350 million reads were generated and aligned, which enabled identification and ordering of 4611 high-quality SNPs. The total lengths of the resulting framework maps were 1770 cM for the Kanlow parent and 2059 cM for the Alamo parent. These maps show collinearity with maps generated with polymerase chain reaction (PCR)-based simple-sequence repeat (SSR) markers, and new SNP markers were identified in previously unpopulated regions of the genome. Transmission segregation distortion affected all linkage groups (LGs) to differing degrees, and ordering of distorted markers highlighted several regions of unequal inheritance. Framework maps were adversely affected by the addition of distorted markers with varying severity, but distorted maps were of higher marker density and provided additional information for analysis. Alignment of these linkage maps with a draft version of the switchgrass genome assembly demonstrated high levels of collinearity and provides greater confidence in the validity of both resources. This methodology has proven to be a rapid and cost-effective way to generate high-quality linkage maps of an outcrossing species.