The contribution of quantitative trait loci and neutral maker loci to the genetic variances and covariances among quantitative traits in random mating populations

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Abstract

Using Cockerham's approach of orthogonal scales, were develop genetic models for the effect of an arbitrary number of multiallelic quantitative trait loci (QTLs) or neutral marker loci (NMLs) upon any number of quantitative traits. These models allow the unbiased estimation of the contributions of a set of marker loci to the additive and dominance variances and covariances among traits in a random mating population. The method has been applied to an analysis of allozyme and quantitative data from the European oyster. The contribution of a set of marker loci may either be real, when the markers are actually QTLs, or apparent, when they are NMLs that are in linkage disequilibrium with hidden QTLs. Our results show that the additive and dominance variances contributed by a set of NMLs are always minimum estimates of the corresponding variances contributed by the associated QTLs. In contrast, the apparent contribution of the NMLs to the additive and dominance covariances between two traits may be larger than, equal to or lower than the actual contributions of the QTLs. We also derive an expression for the expected variance explained by the correlation between a quantitative trait and multilocus heterozygosity. This correlation explains only a part of the genetic variance contributed by the markers, i.e., in general, a combination of additive and dominance variances and, thus, provides only very limited information relative to the method supplied here.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)445-455
JournalGenetics
Volume139
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 1995

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