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  • 1 1USDA, ARS, U.S. Vegetable Laboratory, 2700 Savannah Highway, Charleston, SC 29414
  • | 2 2South Central Agricultural Research Laboratory, USDA,ARS, P.O. Box 159, Lane, OK 74555
  • | 3 3Department of Biology, West Virginia State University, Institute, WV 25112-1000
  • | 4 4China National Engineering Research, Center for Vegetables (NERCV), P.O. Box 2443, Beijing 100089, China
  • | 5 5Syngenta Seeds, Inc., 21435 Road 98, Woodland, CA 9569
  • | 6 6Department of Horticul-tural Sciences, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX 77843-2119
  • | 7 7Biotechnology Center–W.M. Keck Center for Comparative and Functional Genomics, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Urbana, IL 61801
  • | 8 8Department of Horticulture, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC 27695-7609

Genetic linkage map is being constructed for watermelon based on a testcross population and an F2 population. The testcross map comprises 262 markers (RAPD, ISSR, AFLP, SSR and ASRP markers) and covers 1,350 cM. The map comprises 11 large linkage groups (50.7–155.2 cM), 5 medium-size linkage groups (37.5–46.2 cM), and 16 small linkage groups (4.2–31.4 cM). Most AFLP markers are clustered on two linkage regions, while all other marker types are randomly dispersed on the genome. Many of the markers in this study are skewed from the classical (Mendelian) segregation ratio of1:1 in the testcross or the 3:1 ratio in the F2 population. Although the skewed segregation, marker order appeared to be consistent in linkage groups of the testcross and F2 population. A cDNA library was constructed using RNA isolated from watermelon flesh 1 week (rapid cell division stage), 2 weeks (cell growth and storage deposition stage, 4 weeks (maturation stage), and 5 weeks (postmaturation stage) post pollination. Over 1,020 cDNA clones were sequenced, and were analyzed using the Basic Local Alignment Search Tool (BLAST). The sequenced cDNA clones were designated as expressed sequenced tag (EST) markers and will be used in mapping analysis of watermelon genome.

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