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Open Access Methodology article

Intergenomic single nucleotide polymorphisms as a tool for bacterial artificial chromosome contig building of homoeologous Brassica napus regions

Hieu Xuan Cao and Renate Schmidt*

Author Affiliations

Leibniz Institute of Plant Genetics and Crop Plant Research (IPK), Corrensstraße 3, OT Gatersleben, D-06466 Stadt Seeland, Germany

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BMC Genomics 2014, 15:560  doi:10.1186/1471-2164-15-560

Published: 4 July 2014



Homoeologous sequences pose a particular challenge if bacterial artificial chromosome (BAC) contigs shall be established for specific regions of an allopolyploid genome. Single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) differentiating between homoeologous genomes (intergenomic SNPs) may represent a suitable screening tool for such purposes, since they do not only identify homoeologous sequences but also differentiate between them.


Sequence alignments between Brassica rapa (AA) and Brassica oleracea (CC) sequences mapping to corresponding regions on chromosomes A1 and C1, respectively were used to identify single nucleotide polymorphisms between the A and C genomes. A large fraction of these polymorphisms was also present in Brassica napus (AACC), an allopolyploid species that originated from hybridisation of A and C genome species. Intergenomic SNPs mapping throughout homoeologous chromosome segments spanning approximately one Mbp each were included in Illumina’s GoldenGate® Genotyping Assay and used to screen multidimensional pools of a Brassica napus bacterial artificial chromosome library with tenfold genome coverage. Based on the results of 50 SNP assays, a BAC contig for the Brassica napus A subgenome was established that spanned the entire region of interest. The C subgenome region was represented in three BAC contigs.


This proof-of-concept study shows that sequence resources of diploid progenitor genomes can be used to deduce intergenomic SNPs suitable for multiplex polymerase chain reaction (PCR)-based screening of multidimensional BAC pools of a polyploid organism. Owing to their high abundance and ease of identification, intergenomic SNPs represent a versatile tool to establish BAC contigs for homoeologous regions of a polyploid genome.

BAC contig; BAC library; Brassica napus; Homoeologous regions; Multidimensional pools; PCR screening; Polyploidy; SNP