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Nat Rev Genet. 2009 Jun;10(6):381-91. doi: 10.1038/nrg2575.

Mapping genes for complex traits in domestic animals and their use in breeding programmes.

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Department of Agriculture and Food Systems, University of Melbourne, Royal Parade, Parkville 3010, Australia.


Genome-wide panels of SNPs have recently been used in domestic animal species to map and identify genes for many traits and to select genetically desirable livestock. This has led to the discovery of the causal genes and mutations for several single-gene traits but not for complex traits. However, the genetic merit of animals can still be estimated by genomic selection, which uses genome-wide SNP panels as markers and statistical methods that capture the effects of large numbers of SNPs simultaneously. This approach is expected to double the rate of genetic improvement per year in many livestock systems.

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