Email updates

Keep up to date with the latest news and content from BMC Genomics and BioMed Central.

Open Access Research article

A DArT marker genetic map of perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne L.) integrated with detailed comparative mapping information; comparison with existing DArT marker genetic maps of Lolium perenne, L. multiflorum and Festuca pratensis

Julie King1, Ann Thomas2, Caron James2, Ian King1 and Ian Armstead2*

Author Affiliations

1 School of Biosciences, University of Nottingham, Sutton Bonington Campus, Loughborough, Leicestershire LE12 5RDs, UK

2 Institute of Biological, Environmental and Rural Sciences, Gogerddan Campus, Aberystwyth, Ceredigion SY23 3EE, UK

For all author emails, please log on.

BMC Genomics 2013, 14:437  doi:10.1186/1471-2164-14-437

Published: 3 July 2013



Ryegrasses and fescues (genera, Lolium and Festuca) are species of forage and turf grasses which are used widely in agricultural and amenity situations. They are classified within the sub-family Pooideae and so are closely related to Brachypodium distachyon, wheat, barley, rye and oats. Recently, a DArT array has been developed which can be used in generating marker and mapping information for ryegrasses and fescues. This represents a potential common marker set for ryegrass and fescue researchers which can be linked through to comparative genomic information for the grasses.


A F2 perennial ryegrass genetic map was developed consisting of 7 linkage groups defined by 1316 markers and deriving a total map length of 683 cM. The marker set included 866 DArT and 315 gene sequence-based markers. Comparison with previous DArT mapping studies in perennial and Italian ryegrass (L. multiflorum) identified 87 and 105 DArT markers in common, respectively, of which 94% and 87% mapped to homoeologous linkage groups. A similar comparison with meadow fescue (F. pratensis) identified only 28 DArT markers in common, of which c. 50% mapped to non-homoelogous linkage groups. In L. perenne, the genetic distance spanned by the DArT markers encompassed the majority of the regions that could be described in terms of comparative genomic relationships with rice, Brachypodium distachyon, and Sorghum bicolor.


DArT markers are likely to be a useful common marker resource for ryegrasses and fescues, though the success in aligning different populations through the mapping of common markers will be influenced by degrees of population interrelatedness. The detailed mapping of DArT and gene-based markers in this study potentially allows comparative relationships to be derived in future mapping populations characterised using solely DArT markers.

DArT Markers; Genetic Maps; Lolium; Festuca; Comparative Genomics