The genetic linkage map of European beech (Fagus sylvatica L.) that we report here is the first to our knowledge. Based on a total of 312 markers (28 RAPDs, 274 AFLPs, 10 SSRs) scored in 143 individuals from a F1 full-sib family. Two maps (one for each parent) were constructed according to a “two-way pseudo-testcross” mapping strategy. In the male map 119 markers could be clustered in 11 major groups (971 cM), while in the female map 132 markers were distributed in 12 major linkage groups (844 cM). In addition, four and one minor linkage groups (doublets and triplets) were obtained for the male and female map respectively. The two maps cover about 82% and 78% of the genome. Based on the position of 15 AFLP and 2 SSR loci segregating in both parents, seven homologous linkage groups could be identified. In the same pedigree we investigated the association with genetic markers of several quantitative traits: leaf area, leaf number and shape in 2 different years, specific leaf area, leaf carbon-isotope discrimination and tree height. A composite interval-mapping approach was used to estimate the number of QTLs, the amount of variation explained by each of them, and their position on the genetic linkage maps. Eight QTLs associated with leaf traits were found that explained between 15% and 35% of the trait variation, five on the female map and three on the male map.
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