The current genetic and recombination maps of the cat have fewer than 3,000 markers and a resolution limit greater than 1 Mb. To complement the first-generation domestic cat maps, support higher resolution mapping studies, and aid genome assembly in specific areas as well as in the whole genome, a 15,000Rad radiation hybrid (RH) panel for the domestic cat was generated. Fibroblasts from the female Abyssinian cat that was used to generate the cat genomic sequence were fused to a Chinese hamster cell line (A23), producing 150 hybrid lines. The clones were initially characterized using 39 short tandem repeats (STRs) and 1,536 SNP markers. The utility of whole-genome amplification in preserving and extending RH panel DNA was also tested using 10 STR markers; no significant difference in retention was observed. The resolution of the 15,000Rad RH panel was established by constructing framework maps across 10 different 1-Mb regions on different feline chromosomes. In these regions, 2-point analysis was used to estimate RH distances, which compared favorably with the estimation of physical distances. The study demonstrates that the 15,000Rad RH panel constitutes a powerful tool for constructing high-resolution maps, having an average resolution of 40.1 kb per marker across the ten 1-Mb regions. In addition, the RH panel will complement existing genomic resources for the domestic cat, aid in the accurate re-assemblies of the forthcoming cat genomic sequence, and support cross-species genomic comparisons.
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