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Using the mixed model for interval mapping of quantitative trait loci in outbred line crosses

  • Y. NAGAMINE (a1) (a2) and C. S. HALEY (a3)

Abstract

Interval mapping by simple regression is a powerful method for the detection of quantitative trait loci (QTLs) in line crosses such as F2 populations. Due to the ease of computation of the regression approach, relatively complex models with multiple fixed effects, interactions between QTLs or between QTLs and fixed effects can easily be accommodated. However, polygenic effects, which are not targeted in QTL analysis, cannot be treated as random effects in a least squares analysis. In a cross between true inbred lines this is of no consequence, as the polygenic effect contributes just to the residual variance. In a cross between outbred lines, however, if a trait has high polygenic heritability, the additive polygenic effect has a large influence on variation in the population. Here we extend the fixed model for the regression interval mapping method to a mixed model using an animal model. This makes it possible to use not only the observations from progeny (e.g. F2), but also those from the parents (F1) to evaluate QTLs and polygenic effects. We show how the animal model using parental observations can be applied to an outbred cross and so increase the power and accuracy of QTL analysis. Three estimation methods, i.e. regression and an animal model either with or without parental observations, are applied to simulated data. The animal model using parental observations is shown to have advantages in estimating QTL position and additive genotypic value, especially when the polygenic heritability is large and the number of progeny per parent is small.

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