Genetic linkage maps provide a genomic framework for quantitative trait loci identification applied in marker assisted selection breeding in crops with limited resources. It serves as a powerful tool to breeders for analysing the mode of inheritance of genes of interest and monitoring of the transmission of target genes from parents to progeny. Single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) markers have a great influence on mapping research studies: for faster development of new varieties of crops due to its abundance and high number of polymorphism. Thus, this research work aimed at constructing genetic linkage map of cowpea using SNP markers. This will facilitate development of new varieties of cowpea. Single seed descent method of breeding was used to generate mapping population between IT-95K-193-12 and Ife-Brown. Fresh leaves from both parental lines and F1 hybrids were genotyped with 135 SNP markers. Data from125 polymorphic SNP markers were used to construct linkage map. Results revealed 12 linkage maps with an average of 10 markers to a chromosome and average marker distance of 3.02 cM between the markers. Constructed map provides basic information that could assist in genetic improvement of cowpea, most especially in developing brown blotch resistant cowpea varieties through detection of quantitative trait loci (QTL) responsible for brown blotch resistance in cowpea when utilizing marker assisted selection method.
Key words: Cowpea, genetic linkage map, single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) markers, brown blotch resistance.
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