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Genetics. 2001 Apr;157(4):1773-87.

Genetic and nongenetic bases for the L-shaped distribution of quantitative trait loci effects.

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Station de Génétique Végétale, INRA/UPS/INA P-G, F-91190 Gif sur Yvette, France.


The L-shaped distribution of estimated QTL effects (R(2)) has long been reported. We recently showed that a metabolic mechanism could account for this phenomenon. But other nonexclusive genetic or nongenetic causes may contribute to generate such a distribution. Using analysis and simulations of an additive genetic model, we show that linkage disequilibrium between QTL, low heritability, and small population size may also be involved, regardless of the gene effect distribution. In addition, a comparison of the additive and metabolic genetic models revealed that estimates of the QTL effects for traits proportional to metabolic flux are far less robust than for additive traits. However, in both models the highest R(2)'s repeatedly correspond to the same set of QTL.

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