Development of Chromosome-specific Cytogenetic Markers and Merging of Linkage Fragments in Papaya

Ching Man Wai, Ray Ming, Paul H. Moore, Robert E. Paull, Qingyi Yu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Carica papaya L. is a tropical and sub-tropical fruit-tree crop with a small genome and nine pairs of chromosomes. The transgenic cultivar 'SunUp' has been sequenced and three high-density genetic maps are available for mapping agronomically and economically-important traits. However, the small size and similar morphology of papaya chromosomes hinder their identification and few cytological resources are available for integration of genetic and cytogenetic information. Fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) was performed on mitotic metaphase chromosomes using BAC clones harboring mapped simple sequence repeat (SSR) markers as probes. A total of 104 BAC clones covering all 12 linkage groups (LGs) were tested and 12 of them, that gave a single specific signal, were chosen as representative of the 12 LGs of the SSR genetic map. This set of chromosome-specific DNA markers acted as a foundation for papaya chromosome karyotyping and re-assigning orientation of LGs. Chromosome-specific markers allowed us to assign the minor LGs 10, 11, and 12 to major LGs 8, 9, and 7, respectively. We thus reduced the number of LGs in the genetic map to nine, corresponding to the haploid number of papaya chromosomes. We also tested the relative order of DNA markers on minor LGs 10 and 11 to place them on top of LGs 8 and 9 in the correct orientation. Ribosomal DNAs (rDNAs), a set of major cytogenetic markers, were positioned on specific papaya chromosomes. The 25S rDNA showed strong signals at the constriction site of a single pair of chromosomes identified as LG 2 by LG 2-specific BAC clone. The 5S rDNA showed strong signals on two pairs of chromosomes that are syntenic with LG 4- and LG 5-specific BAC clones. This integrated map will facilitate genome assembly, quantitative trait locus (QTL) mapping, and the study of cytological, physical and genetic distance relationships between papaya chromosomes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)171-181
Number of pages11
JournalTropical Plant Biology
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2010


  • Carica papaya
  • Chromosome-specific markers
  • Cytogenetics
  • Fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH)
  • Genetic map

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics
  • Plant Science


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