High-density interspecific genetic linkage mapping provides insights into genomic incompatibility between channel catfish and blue catfish

S. Liu, Y. Li, Z. Qin, X. Geng, L. Bao, L. Kaltenboeck, H. Kucuktas, R. Dunham, Z. Liu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Scopus citations


Catfish is the leading aquaculture species in the United States. The interspecific hybrid catfish produced by mating female channel catfish with male blue catfish outperform both of their parent species in a number of traits. However, mass production of the hybrids has been difficult because of reproductive isolation. Investigations of genome structure and organization of the hybrids provide insights into the genetic basis for maintenance of species divergence in the face of gene flow, thereby helping develop strategies for introgression and efficient production of the hybrids for aquaculture. In this study, we constructed a high-density genetic linkage map using the hybrid catfish system with the catfish 250K SNP array. A total of 26 238 SNPs were mapped to 29 linkage groups, with 12 776 unique marker positions. The linkage map spans approximately 3240 cM with an average intermarker distance of 0.25 cM. A fraction of markers (986 of 12 776) exhibited significant deviation from the expected Mendelian ratio of segregation, and they were clustered in major genomic blocks across 15 LGs, most notably LG9 and LG15. The distorted markers exhibited significant bias for maternal alleles among the backcross progenies, suggesting strong selection against the blue catfish alleles. The clustering of distorted markers within genomic blocks should lend insights into speciation as marked by incompatibilities between the two species. Such findings should also have profound implications for understanding the genomic evolution of closely related species as well as the introgression of hybrid production programs in aquaculture.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)81-90
Number of pages10
JournalAnimal Genetics
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 1 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • Interspecific crossing
  • hybrid catfish
  • hybrid incompatibility
  • segregation distortion
  • single nucleotide polymorphism

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Genetics


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