Markov chain Monte Carlo for mapping a quantitative trait locus in outbred populations

M.C.A.M. Bink, L.L.G. Janss, R.L. Quaas

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12 Citations (Scopus)


A Bayesian approach is presented for mapping a quantitative trait locus (QTL) using the 'Fernando and Grossman' multivariate Normal approximation to QTL inheritance. For this model, a Bayesian implementation that includes QTL position is problematic because standard Markov chain Monte Carlo (MCMC) algorithms do not mix, i.e. the QTL position gets stuck in one marker interval. This is because of the dependence of the covariance structure for the QTL effects on the adjacent markers and may be typical of the 'Fernando and Grossman' model. A relatively new MCMC technique, simulated tempering, allows mixing and so makes possible inferences about QTL position based on marginal posterior probabilities. The model was implemented for estimating variance ratios and QTL position using a continuous grid of allowed positions and was applied to simulated data of a standard granddaughter design. The results showed a smooth mixing of QTL position after implementation of the simulated tempering sampler. In this implementation, map distance between QTL and its flanking markers was artificially stretched to reduce the dependence of markers and covariance. The method generalizes easily to more complicated applications and can ultimately contribute to QTL mapping in complex, heterogeneous, human, animal or plant populations.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)231-241
JournalGenetical Research
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2000

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