Menotti-Raymond, M., David, V. A., Schäffer, A. A., Tomlin, J. F., Eizirik, E., Phillip, C., Wells, D., Pontius, J. U., Hannah, S. S., & O’Brien, S. J. (2009). An autosomal genetic linkage map of the domestic cat, Felis silvestris catus. Genomics, 93(4), 305–313.
We report on the completion of an autosomal genetic linkage (GL) map of the domestic cat (Felis silvestris catus). Unlike two previous linkage maps of the cat constructed with a hybrid pedigree between the domestic cat and the Asian leopard cat, this map was generated entirely with domestic cats, using a large multi-generational pedigree (n = 256) maintained by the Nestlé Purina PetCare Company. Four hundred eighty-three simple tandem repeat (STR) loci have been assigned to linkage groups on the cat’s 18 autosomes. A single linkage group spans each autosome. The length of the cat map, estimated at 4370 cM, is long relative to most reported mammalian maps. A high degree of concordance in marker order was observed between the third-generation map and the 1.5 Mb-resolution radiation hybrid (RH) map of the cat. Using the cat 1.9 × whole-genome sequence, we identified map coordinates for 85% of the loci in the cat assembly, with high concordance observed in marker order between the linkage map and the cat sequence assembly. The present version represents a marked improvement over previous cat linkage maps as it (i) nearly doubles the number of markers that were present in the second-generation linkage map in the cat, (ii) provides a linkage map generated in a domestic cat pedigree which will more accurately reflect recombination distances than previous maps generated in a hybrid pedigree, and (iii) provides single linkage groups spanning each autosome. Marker order was largely consistent between this and the previous maps, though the use of a hybrid pedigree in the earlier versions appears to have contributed to some suppression of recombination. The improved linkage map will provide an added resource for the mapping of phenotypic variation in the domestic cat and the use of this species as a model system for biological research.