Genetic mapping and identification of QTL for earliness in the globe artichoke/cultivated cardoon complex
The genome organization of globe artichoke (Cynara cardunculus var. scolymus), unlike other species belonging to Asteraceae (=Compositae) family (i.e. sunflower, lettuce and chicory), remains largely unexplored. The species is highly heterozygous and suffers marked inbreeding depression when forced to self-fertilize. Thus a two-way pseudo-testcross represents the optimal strategy for linkage analysis. Here, we report linkage maps based on the progeny of a cross between globe artichoke (C. cardunculus var. scolymus) and cultivated cardoon (C. cardunculus var. altilis). The population was genotyped using a variety of PCR-based marker platforms, resulting in the identification of 708 testcross markers suitable for map construction. The male map consisted of 177 loci arranged in 17 major linkage groups, spanning 1,015.5 cM, while female map was built with 326 loci arranged into 20 major linkage groups, spanning 1,486.8 cM. The presence of 84 loci shared between these maps and those previously developed from a cross within globe artichoke allowed for map alignment and the definition of 17 homologous linkage groups, corresponding to the haploid number of the species. This will provide a favourable property for QTL scanning; furthermore, as 25 mapped markers (8%) correspond to coding regions, it has an additional value as functional map and might represent an important genetic tool for candidate gene studies in globe artichoke.