Even if a marker occurred every centimorgan (which is unrealistic), the resolution in regard to the physical structure of the DNA would still be quite low. In other words, the detail of the map is very limited. A second problem with genetic maps is that they do not always accurately correspond to physical distances between genes. Genetic maps are based on rates of crossing over, which vary somewhat from one part of a chromosome to another; so the distances on a genetic map are only approximations of real physical distances along a chromosome. I Figure 19.2 compares the genetic map of chromosome III of yeast with a physical map determined by DNA sequencing. There are some discrepancies between the distances and even among the positions of some genes. In spite of these limitations, genetic maps have been critical to the development of physical maps and the sequencing of whole genomes.
Was this article helpful?