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Genetics. 1996 Dec;144(4):1923-32.

Marker-assisted introgression in backcross breeding programs.

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  • 1Roslin Institute Edinburgh, Midlothian, Scotland.


The efficiency of marker-assisted introgression in backcross populations derived from inbred lines was investigated by simulation. Background genotypes were simulated assuming that a genetic model of many genes of small effects in coupling phase explains the observed breed difference and variance in backcross populations. Markers were efficient in introgression backcross programs for simultaneously introgressing an allele and selecting for the desired genomic background. Using a marker spacing of 10-20 cM gave an advantage of one to two backcross generations selection relative to random or phenotypic selection. When the position of the gene to be introgressed is uncertain, for example because its position was estimated from a trait gene mapping experiment, a chromosome segment should be introgressed that is likely to include the allele of interest. Even for relatively precisely mapped quantitative trait loci, flanking markers or marker haplotypes should cover approximately 10-20 cM around the estimated position of the gene, to ensure that the allele frequency does not decline in later backcross generations.

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