Open Access Research article

A duck RH panel and its potential for assisting NGS genome assembly

Man Rao1, Mireille Morisson1, Thomas Faraut1, Suzanne Bardes1, Katia Fève1, Emmanuelle Labarthe1, Valérie Fillon1, Yinhua Huang2, Ning Li1 and Alain Vignal1*

Author Affiliations

1 UMR INRA/ENVT Laboratoire de Génétique Cellulaire, INRA, Castanet-Tolosan, 31326, France

2 State key laboratory for agro-biotechnology, China Agricultural University, Beijing, 100193, People's Republic of China

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BMC Genomics 2012, 13:513  doi:10.1186/1471-2164-13-513

Published: 28 September 2012



Owing to the low cost of the high throughput Next Generation Sequencing (NGS) technology, more and more species have been and will be sequenced. However, de novo assemblies of large eukaryotic genomes thus produced are composed of a large number of contigs and scaffolds of medium to small size, having no chromosomal assignment. Radiation hybrid (RH) mapping is a powerful tool for building whole genome maps and has been used for several animal species, to help assign sequence scaffolds to chromosomes and determining their order.


We report here a duck whole genome RH panel obtained by fusing female duck embryonic fibroblasts irradiated at a dose of 6,000 rads, with HPRT-deficient Wg3hCl2 hamster cells. The ninety best hybrids, having an average retention of 23.6% of the duck genome, were selected for the final panel. To allow the genotyping of large numbers of markers, as required for whole genome mapping, without having to cultivate the hybrid clones on a large scale, three different methods involving Whole Genome Amplification (WGA) and/or scaling down PCR volumes by using the Fluidigm BioMarkTM Integrated Fluidic Circuits (IFC) Dynamic ArrayTM for genotyping were tested. RH maps of APL12 and APL22 were built, allowing the detection of intrachromosomal rearrangements when compared to chicken. Finally, the panel proved useful for checking the assembly of sequence scaffolds and for mapping EST located on one of the smallest microchromosomes.


The Fluidigm BioMarkTM Integrated Fluidic Circuits (IFC) Dynamic ArrayTM genotyping by quantitative PCR provides a rapid and cost-effective method for building RH linkage groups. Although the vast majority of genotyped markers exhibited a picture coherent with their associated scaffolds, a few of them were discordant, pinpointing potential assembly errors. Comparative mapping with chicken chromosomes GGA21 and GGA11 allowed the detection of the first chromosome rearrangements on microchromosomes between duck and chicken. As in chicken, the smallest duck microchromosomes appear missing in the assembly and more EST data will be needed for mapping them. Altogether, this underlines the added value of RH mapping to improve genome assemblies.

RH mapping; NGS; Sequencing; Duck; Scaffold; Assembly