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Biological Sciences


The biology and genetics of silkworm, Bombyx mori, is the most advanced of any lepidopteran species. Its rich repertoire of genetic resources and potential applications in sericulture and as a model for other Lepidoptera led to the initiation of genomics research. During the past decade much effort has been made in the areas of marker development, and molecular maps have been constructed in standard strains with the use of RFLPs, RAPDs, ISSRs, STSs, and microsatellites. The potential applications of molecular markers and linkage maps include stock identification, Marker Assisted Selection (MAS), identification of Quantitative Trait Loci (QTL), and, ultimately, positional cloning of visible mutations and QTL. To these ends, BAC libraries have been constructed and are being used to make large-scale physical maps, with markers based on ESTs as framework anchors. Altogether this work provides a foundation for identification of gene function, gene and chromosome evolution, and comparative genomics.