Brassicaceae is a large family, consisting of approximately 340 genera and more than 3,350 species
. In addition to providing vegetable oil, vegetables, fodder and condiment, Brassicas are important sources for dietary fiber, vitamin C and other nutritionally beneficial factors such as anticancer compounds
. Cytogenetic research of the six cultivated species has shown that the group includes three diploid species, B. rapa (AA, 2n = 20), B. nigra (BB, 2n = 16), B. oleracea (CC, 2n = 18)], and three amphiploid species, B. juncea (AABB, 2n = 36), B. napus (AACC, 2n =38) and B. carinata (BBCC, 2n = 34)]. In addition, interspecific hybridization studies demonstrated that three diploid species contain the basic chromosome sets, while the amphiploid species contain hybridized and naturally doubled combinations of the three diploid species in a relationship that is referred to as U’s triangle
. The genome sizes of the diploid Brassicas and the allopolyploids are 529–696 Mb and 1068–1284 Mb respectively
Long-term cultivation and artificial selection of Brassica crops have resulted in rich intraspecific morphological variations all of which are adapted for various cultivation conditions
. For instance, well-established vegetables of the B. oleracea species comprise a number of morphologically diverse crops, including cabbage (B. oleracea var. capitata), Brussels sprouts (B. oleracea var. gemmifera), kale (B. oleracea var. acephala), kohlrabi (B. oleracea var. gongylode), Chinese kale (B. oleracea var. alboglabra), broccoli (B. oleracea var. italica) and cauliflower (B. oleracea var. botrytis).
Cabbage (B. oleracea var. capitata) is considered to be a typical representative of the C genome of Brassica and the B. oleracea Genome Sequencing Project (BrGSP) was launched in 2009. The B. oleracea material that was used for the de novo sequencing was an advanced homozygous inbred line 02–12. The primary sequencing project has been completed and the findings will be published shortly. To anchor the assembled scaffolds to pseudochromosomes, a high-density genetic map based on sequence-tagged PCR-markers is required.
A high-density genetic map can also form the basis for quantitative trait loci mapping (QTL mapping), marker assistant selection (MAS), and functional gene positional cloning, and will be useful for functional genomics and genetic breeding studies. A comparison of the genetic maps of closely related species will contribute to an understanding of the origin of relationships among the Brassicas, and genetic maps can provide insights into genome organization and evolution through comparative mapping.
More than ten genetic linkage maps of B. oleracea have been constructed
. The early genetic maps used restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP) markers
[7–9]. However, RFLPs requires a large amount of DNA and the procedure is inefficient and difficult to apply in breeding. With the invention of the polymerase chain reaction (PCR), a variety of PCR-based markers, such as simple sequence repeats (SSRs) were successively developed and became the preferred markers. SSRs require only small amounts of DNA, are easily generated by PCR, are amenable to high-throughput analysis, codominantly inherited, multi-allelic, highly polymorphic, abundant, and are evenly distributed in genomes
. SSRs have been extensively used in tagging qualitative genes and in dissecting the genetic bases of complex traits
[11–13]. Recent developments in sequencing technology have simplified and accelerated the discovery of sequence variants, enabling the development of sequence-based markers including single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) and insertion/deletion polymorphism (InDel) markers
. SNPs are the markers of choice for high-resolution genetic mapping and association studies because of their abundance and widespread distribution throughout the genome
. These third generation markers, however, have rarely been used for genetic linkage mapping in B. oleracea.
B. oleracea genetic maps are most often constructed using populations obtained from crosses between subspecies and varieties, and F2 populations that are not immortal
[8, 9]. F2 mapping populations are temporary and difficult to maintain for long term and comparative studies. To produce high-resolution genetic maps for future research, double haploid (DH) and recombinant inbred line (RIL) populations are more often used for mapping. However, to date, no studies have reported the use of a DH population for mapping between cabbage varieties.
We generated a double haploid (DH) population derived from an F1 cross between two advanced homozygous inbred lines, 01–88 and 02–12, by microspore culture. A number of SSR and SNP markers were developed using the whole genome shotgun sequence data from the BrGSP. These markers were then used to construct a saturated genetic map of the B. oleracea genome that could be used to anchor and orientate sequence scaffolds from the B. oleracea genome assembly.