We have constructed the first integrated consensus map (ICM) for rose, based on the information of four diploid populations and more than 1,000 initial markers. The single population maps are linked via 59 bridge markers, on average 8.4 per linkage group (LG). The integrated map comprises 597 markers, 206 of which are sequence-based, distributed over a length of 530 cM on seven LGs. By using a larger effective population size and therefore higher marker density, the marker order in the ICM is more reliable than in the single population maps. This is supported by a more even marker distribution and a decrease in gap sizes in the consensus map as compared to the single population maps. This unified map establishes a standard nomenclature for rose LGs, and presents the location of important ornamental traits, such as self-incompatibility, black spot resistance (Rdr1), scent production and recurrent blooming. In total, the consensus map includes locations for 10 phenotypic single loci, QTLs for 7 different traits and 51 ESTs or gene-based molecular markers. This consensus map combines for the first time the information for traits with high relevance for rose variety development. It will serve as a tool for selective breeding and marker assisted selection. It will benefit future efforts of the rose community to sequence the whole rose genome and will be useful for synteny studies in the Rosaceae family and especially in the section Rosoideae
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