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Heredity (Edinb). 2012 Mar;108(3):332-40. doi: 10.1038/hdy.2011.78. Epub 2011 Aug 31.

Comparison of biometrical models for joint linkage association mapping.

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  • 1State Plant Breeding Institute, University of Hohenheim, Stuttgart, Germany.


Joint linkage association mapping (JLAM) combines the advantages of linkage mapping and association mapping, and is a powerful tool to dissect the genetic architecture of complex traits. The main goal of this study was to use a cross-validation strategy, resample model averaging and empirical data analyses to compare seven different biometrical models for JLAM with regard to the correction for population structure and the quantitative trait loci (QTL) detection power. Three linear models and four linear mixed models with different approaches to control for population stratification were evaluated. Models A, B and C were linear models with either cofactors (Model-A), or cofactors and a population effect (Model-B), or a model in which the cofactors and the single-nucleotide polymorphism effect were modeled as nested within population (Model-C). The mixed models, D, E, F and G, included a random population effect (Model-D), or a random population effect with defined variance structure (Model-E), a kinship matrix defining the degree of relatedness among the genotypes (Model-F), or a kinship matrix and principal coordinates (Model-G). The tested models were conceptually different and were also found to differ in terms of power to detect QTL. Model-B with the cofactors and a population effect, effectively controlled population structure and possessed a high predictive power. The varying allele substitution effects in different populations suggest as a promising strategy for JLAM to use Model-B for the detection of QTL and then to estimate their effects by applying Model-C.

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