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We present the first genetic maps of the sea cucumber (Apostichopus japonicus), constructed with an F1 pseudo-testcross strategy. The 37 amplified fragment length polymorphism (AFLP) primer combinations chosen identified 484 polymorphic markers. Of the 21 microsatellite primer pairs tested, 16 identified heterozygous loci in one or other parent, and six were fully informative, as they segregated in both parents. The female map comprised 163 loci, spread over 20 linkage groups (which equals the haploid chromosome number), and spanned 1522.0 cM, with a mean marker density of 9.3 cM. The equivalent figures for the male map were 162 loci, 21 linkage groups, 1276.9 and 7.9 cM. About 2.5% of the AFLP markers displayed segregation distortion and were not used for map construction. The estimated coverage of the genome was 84.8% for the female map and 83.4% for the male map. The maps generated will serve as a basis for the construction of a high-resolution genetic map and mapping of the functional genes and quantitative trait loci, which will then open the way for the application of a marker-assisted selection breeding strategy in this species.