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Genetics. 1992 Dec;132(4):1177-85.

The effects of selection on linkage analysis for quantitative traits.

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CSIRO Division of Tropical Animal Production, University of Queensland, St. Lucia, Australia.


The effects of within-sample selection on the outcome of analyses detecting linkage between genetic markers and quantitative traits were studied. It was found that selection by truncation for the trait of interest significantly reduces the differences between marker genotype means thus reducing the power to detect linked quantitative trait loci (QTL). The size of this reduction is a function of proportion selected, the magnitude of the QTL effect, recombination rate between the marker locus and the QTL, and the allele frequency of the QTL. Proportion selected was the most influential of these factors on bias, e.g., for an allele substitution effect of one standard deviation unit, selecting the top 80%, 50% or 20% of the population required 2, 6 or 24 times the number of progeny, respectively, to offset the loss of power caused by this selection. The effect on power was approximately linear with respect to the size of gene effect, almost invariant to recombination rate, and a complex function of QTL allele frequency. It was concluded that experimental samples from animal populations which have been subjected to even minor amounts of selection will be inefficient in yielding information on linkage between markers and loci influencing the quantitative trait under selection.

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