This research aims at the development of peach as a model genome for the identification, characterization, and cloning of important genes in Rosaceae species. We have constructed an initial physical map for peach. The map is anchored onto the general Prunus genetic map and has been integrated with a peach transcript map (http://www.rosaceae.org). Our efforts to exploit the peach genomic databases are focused on two genomic regions of interest: the distal part of linkage group 2 associated with the genes for root-knot nematode resistance and the distal part of linkage group 4 which is important for fruit characters such as freestone and melting flesh. Our approach combines linkage genetic mapping using EST-based genetic markers, localization of the markers on the physical framework, and sequencing the genomic region of interest. Preliminary results illustrate the efficiency of this strategy to facilitate gene discovery in peach.
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