A novel and robust method for the fine-scale mapping of genes affecting complex traits, which combines linkage and linkage-disequilibrium information, is proposed. Linkage information refers to recombinations within the marker-genotyped generations and linkage disequilibrium to historical recombinations before genotyping started. The identity-by-descent (IBD) probabilities at the quantitative trait locus (QTL) between first generation haplotypes were obtained from the similarity of the marker alleles surrounding the QTL, whereas IBD probabilities at the QTL between later generation haplotypes were obtained by using the markers to trace the inheritance of the QTL. The variance explained by the QTL is estimated by residual maximum likelihood using the correlation structure defined by the IBD probabilities. Unlinked background genes were accounted for by fitting a polygenic variance component. The method was used to fine map a QTL for twinning rate in cattle, previously mapped on chromosome 5 by linkage analysis. The data consisted of large half-sib families, but the method could also handle more complex pedigrees. The likelihood of the putative QTL was very small along most of the chromosome, except for a sharp likelihood peak in the ninth marker bracket, which positioned the QTL within a region <1 cM in the middle part of bovine chromosome 5. The method was expected to be robust against multiple genes affecting the trait, multiple mutations at the QTL, and relatively low marker density.
|Publication status||Published - 2002|