Incipient sex chromosomes have been found in New Zealand's eponymous export, the kiwifruit. Researchers writing in the open access journal BMC Genomics have mapped the kiwifruit genome and pin-pointed the sex-determining locus.
Of more than 60 species of Actinidia (kiwifruit), only two have been widely cultivated so far, and there is potential for breeding new varieties. All Actinida species are dioecious, and the authors say they are likely to have similar sex-determining regions. The authors work in producing female, male and consensus genetic linkage maps for the golden kiwifruit, A. chinensis and identifying the sex-determining region may provide the key to fully exploiting this relatively recent cultivar.
According to Fraser, 'The gene-rich map we have constructed will be a valuable resource for quantitative trait loci analyses to identify markers related to traits of importance in breeding new and novel kiwifruit for the markets of the world.'
Charlotte Webber | EurekAlert!
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