A Genetic Map for the Only Self-Fertilizing Vertebrate

Akira Kanamori, Yosuke Sugita, Yasufumi Yuasa, Takamasa Suzuki, Kouichi Kawamura, Yoshinobu Uno, Katsuyasu Kamimura, Yoichi Matsuda, Catherine A. Wilson, Angel Amores, John H. Postlethwait, Koushirou Suga, Yoshitaka Sakakura

The mangrove killifish Kryptolebias marmoratus, and its close relative Kryptolebias hermaphroditus, are the only vertebrate species known to reproduce by self-fertilization due to functional ovotestis development. To improve our understanding of their genomes, we constructed a genetic map. First, a single F-1 fish was made by artificial fertilization between K. marmoratus and K. hermaphroditus strains. F-2 progeny were then obtained by self-fertilization of the F-1 fish. We used RAD-seq to query genomic DNAs from the two parental strains, the F-1 individual and 49 F-2 progeny. Results identified 9904 polymorphic RAD-tags (DNA markers) that mapped to 24 linkage groups, corresponding to the haploid chromosome number of these species. The total length of the map was 1248 cM, indicating that about one recombination occurred for each of the 24 homologous chromosome pairs in each meiosis. Markers were not evenly distributed along the chromosomes: in all chromosomes, many markers (> 8% of the total markers for each chromosome) mapped to chromosome tips. Centromeres suppress recombination, and this uneven distribution is probably due to the species’ acrocentric chromosomes. Mapped marker sequences were compared to genomic sequences of medaka and platyfish, the next most closely related species with sequenced genomes that are anchored to genetic maps. Results showed that each mangrove killifish chromosome corresponds to a single chromosome of both platyfish and medaka, suggesting strong conservation of chromosomes over 100 million years of evolution. Our genetic map provides a framework for the K. marmoratus/K. hermaphroditus genome sequence and an important resource for understanding the biology of hermaphroditism.