Comparative genome analysis has been performed between alfalfa (Medicago sativa) and pea (Pisum sativum), species which represent two closely related tribes of the subfamily Papilionoideae with different basic chromosome numbers. The positions of genes on the most recent linkage map of diploid alfalfa were compared to those of homologous loci on the combined genetic map of pea to analyze the degree of co-linearity between their linkage groups. In addition to using unique genes, analysis of the map positions of multicopy (homologous) genes identified syntenic homologs (characterized by similar positions on the maps) and pinpointed the positions of non-syntenic homologs. The comparison revealed extensive conservation of gene order between alfalfa and pea. However, genetic rearrangements (due to breakage and reunion) were localized which can account for the difference in chromosome number (8 for alfalfa and 7 for pea). Based on these genetic events and our increasing knowledge of the genomic structure of pea, it was concluded that the difference in genome size between the two species (the pea genome is 5- to 10-fold larger than that of alfalfa) is not a consequence of genome duplication in pea. The high degree of synteny observed between pea and Medicago loci makes further map-based cloning of pea genes based on the genome resources now available for M. truncatula a promising strategy.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Molecular Biology