A reference consensus genetic map for molecular markers and economically important traits in faba bean (Vicia faba L.)
Background Faba bean (Vicia faba L.) is among the earliest domesticated crops from the Near East. Today this legume is a key protein feed and food worldwide and continues to serve an important role in culinary traditions throughout Middle East, Mediterranean region, China and Ethiopia. Adapted to a wide range of soil types, the main faba bean breeding objectives are to improve yield, resistance to biotic and abiotic stresses, seed quality and other agronomic traits. Genomic approaches aimed at enhancing faba bean breeding programs require high-quality genetic linkage maps to facilitate quantitative trait locus analysis and gene tagging for use in a marker-assisted selection. The objective of this study was to construct a reference consensus map in faba bean by joining the information from the most relevant maps reported so far in this crop. Results A combination of two approaches, increasing the number of anchor loci in diverse mapping populations and joining the corresponding genetic maps, was used to develop a reference consensus map in faba bean. The map was constructed from three main recombinant inbreed populations derived from four parental lines, incorporates 729 markers and is based on 69 common loci. It spans 4,602 cM with a range from 323 to 1041 loci in six main linkage groups or chromosomes, and an average marker density of one locus every 6 cM. Locus order is generally well maintained between the consensus map and the individual maps. Conclusion We have constructed a reliable and fairly dense consensus genetic linkage map that will serve as a basis for genomic approaches in faba bean research and breeding. The core map contains a larger number of markers than any previous individual map, covers existing gaps and achieves a wider coverage of the large faba bean genome as a whole. This tool can be used as a reference resource for studies in different genetic backgrounds, and provides a framework for transferring genetic information when using different marker technologies. Combined with syntenic approaches, the consensus map will increase marker density in selected genomic regions and will be useful for future faba bean molecular breeding applications.
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