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Brief Bioinform. 2013 Jul;14(4):460-8. doi: 10.1093/bib/bbs051. Epub 2012 Sep 17.

A multivalent three-point linkage analysis model of autotetraploids.

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  • 1Center for Computational Biology, Beijing Forestry University, Beijing, China.


Because of its widespread occurrence and role in shaping evolutionary processes in the biological kingdom, especially in plants, polyploidy has been increasingly studied from cytological to molecular levels. By inferring gene order, gene distances and gene homology, linkage mapping with molecular markers has proven powerful for investigating genome structure and organization. Here we review and assess a general statistical model for three-point linkage analysis in autotetraploids by integrating double reduction, a phenomenon that commonly occurs in autopolyploids whose chromosomes are derived from a single ancestral species. This model does not require any assumption on the distribution of the occurrence of double reduction and can handle the complexity of multilocus linkage in terms of crossover interference. Implemented with the expectation-maximization (EM) algorithms, the model can estimate and test the recombination fractions between less informative dominant markers, thus facilitating its practical implications for any autopolyploids in most of which inexpensive dominant markers are still used for their genetic and evolutionary studies. The model was applied to reanalyze a published data in tetraploid switchgrass, validating its practical usefulness and utilization.


autopolyploids; double reduction; statistical model; three-point analysis

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