Scaling to account for heterogeous variances in a Bayesian analysis of broiler quantitative trait loci

J.B.C.H.M. van Kaam, M.C.A.M. Bink, H. Bovenhuis, R.L. Quaas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


A Bayesian method for QTL analysis that is capable of accounting for heterogeneity of variance between sexes, is introduced. The Bayesian method uses a parsimonious model that includes scaling parameters for polygenic and QTL allelic effects per sex. Furthermore, the method employs a reduced animal model to increase computational efficiency. Markov Chain Monte Carlo techniques were applied to obtain estimates of genetic parameters. In comparison with previous regression analyses, the Bayesian method 1) estimates dispersion parameters and polygenic effects, 2) uses individual observations instead of offspring averages, and 3) estimates fixed effect levels and covariates and heterogeneity of variance between sexes simultaneously with other parameters, taking uncertainties fully into account. Broiler data collected in a feed efficiency and a carcass experiment were used to illustrate QTL analysis based on the Bayesian method. The experiments were conducted in a population consisting of 10 full-sib families of a cross between two broiler lines. Microsatellite genotypes were determined on generation 1 and 2 animals and phenotypes were collected on third-generation offspring from mating members from different families. Chromosomal regions that seemed to contain a QTL in previous regression analyses and showed heterogeneity of variance were chosen. Traits analyzed in the feed efficiency experiment were BW at 48 d and growth, feed intake, and feed intake corrected for BW between 23 and 48 d. In the carcass experiment, carcass percentage was analyzed. The Bayesian method was successful in finding QTL in all regions previously detected.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)45-56
JournalJournal of Animal Science
Publication statusPublished - 2002

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