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Adv Exp Med Biol. 2008;627:71-83. doi: 10.1007/978-0-387-78225-6_6.

The Yin and Yang of linkage disequilibrium: mapping of genes and nucleotides conferring insecticide resistance in insect disease vectors.

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  • 1Department of Microbiology, Immunology and Pathology, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, Colorado 80523, USA.


Genetic technologies developed in the last 20 years have lead to novel and exciting methods to identify genes and specific nucleotides within genes that control phenotypes in field collected organisms. In this review we define and explain two of these methods: linkage disequilibrium (LD) mapping and quantitative trait nucleotide (QTN) mapping. The power to detect valid genotype-phenotype associations with LD or QTN mapping depends critically on the extent to which segregating sites in a genome assort independently. LD mapping depends on markers being in disequilibrium with the genes that condition expression of the phenotype. In contrast, QTN mapping depends critically upon most proximal loci being at equilibrium. We show that both patterns actually exist in the genome of Anapheles gambiae, the most important malaria vector in sub-Saharan Africa while segregating sites appear to be largely in equilibrium throughout the genome of Aedes aegypti, the vector of Dengue and Yellow fever flaviviruses. We discuss additional approaches that will be needed to identify genes and nucleotides that control phenotypes in field collected organisms, focusing specifically on ongoing studies of genes conferring resistance to insecticides.

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