The ultimate informativeness of the zebrafish mutations described in this issue will rest in part on the ability to clone these genes. However, the genetic infrastructure required for the positional cloning in zebrafish is still in its infancy. Here we report a reference cross panel of DNA, consisting of 520 F2 progeny (1040 meioses) that has been anchored to a zebrafish genetic linkage map by 102 simple sequence length polymorphisms. This reference cross DNA provides: (1) a panel of DNA from the cross that was used to construct the genetic linkage map, upon which polymorphic gene(s) and genetic markers can be mapped; (2) a fine order mapping tool, with a maximum resolution of 0.1 cM; and (3) a foundation for the development of a physical map (an ordered array of clones each containing a known portion of the genome). This reference cross DNA will serve as a resource enabling investigators to relate genes or genetic markers directly to a single genetic linkage map and avoid the problem of integrating different maps with different genetic markers, as must be currently done when using randomly amplified polymorphic DNA markers, or as has occurred with human genetic linkage maps.

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