Open Access Research article

Development and mapping of DArT markers within the Festuca - Lolium complex

David Kopecký1*, Jan Bartoš1, Adam J Lukaszewski2, James H Baird2, Vladimír Černoch3, Roland Kölliker4, Odd Arne Rognli5, Helene Blois6, Vanessa Caig6, Thomas Lübberstedt7, Bruno Studer8, Paul Shaw9, Jaroslav Doležel1 and Andrzej Kilian6

Author Affiliations

1 Laboratory of Molecular Cytogenetics and Cytometry, Institute of Experimental Botany, Sokolovská 6, CZ-77200, Olomouc, Czech Republic

2 Department of Botany and Plant Sciences, University of California, Riverside, CA 92521, USA

3 Šlechtitelská stanice Hladké Životice, s.r.o., Fulnecká 95, Hladké Životice, CZ-74247, Czech Republic

4 Agroscope Reckenholz Tanikon Research Station ART, Reckenholzstr 191, CH-8046 Zurich, Switzerland

5 Department of Plant and Environmental Sciences, Norwegian University of Life Sciences, PO Box 5003, N-1432, Aas, Norway

6 Diversity Arrays Technology, 1 Wilf Crane Crescent, Yarralumla, ACT 2600, Australia

7 Iowa State University, Agronomy Department, 1204 Agronomy Hall, Ames, IA 50011, USA

8 University of Aarhus, Department of Genetics and Biotechnology, Research Centre Flakkebjerg, DK-4200 Slagelse, Denmark

9 Plant Bioinformatics Group, Scottish Crop Research Institute, Invergowrie, Dundee, DD2 5DA, UK

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BMC Genomics 2009, 10:473  doi:10.1186/1471-2164-10-473

Published: 15 October 2009



Grasses are among the most important and widely cultivated plants on Earth. They provide high quality fodder for livestock, are used for turf and amenity purposes, and play a fundamental role in environment protection. Among cultivated grasses, species within the Festuca-Lolium complex predominate, especially in temperate regions. To facilitate high-throughput genome profiling and genetic mapping within the complex, we have developed a Diversity Arrays Technology (DArT) array for five grass species: F. pratensis, F. arundinacea, F. glaucescens, L. perenne and L. multiflorum.


The DArTFest array contains 7680 probes derived from methyl-filtered genomic representations. In a first marker discovery experiment performed on 40 genotypes from each species (with the exception of F. glaucescens for which only 7 genotypes were used), we identified 3884 polymorphic markers. The number of DArT markers identified in every single genotype varied from 821 to 1852. To test the usefulness of DArTFest array for physical mapping, DArT markers were assigned to each of the seven chromosomes of F. pratensis using single chromosome substitution lines while recombinants of F. pratensis chromosome 3 were used to allocate the markers to seven chromosome bins.


The resources developed in this project will facilitate the development of genetic maps in Festuca and Lolium, the analysis on genetic diversity, and the monitoring of the genomic constitution of the Festuca × Lolium hybrids. They will also enable marker-assisted selection for multiple traits or for specific genome regions.