Epistatic regulation of behavioural and morphological traits in the zebrafish (Danio rerio)

Behav Genet. 2006 Nov;36(6):914-22. doi: 10.1007/s10519-006-9080-9. Epub 2006 Jun 3.


There is currently a lack of studies examining epistasis in general, and specifically for behavioural traits of evolutionary significance. The advent of more efficient analytical methods for exploring epistasis in QTL studies removes the computational restraint on this type of analysis and suggests that performing further analyses of existing datasets may reveal a more complete picture of the genetic architecture of the traits. Here we report the results from an epistatic QTL analysis of an F2 cross between a wild population and a standard laboratory strain of zebrafish. This further analysis was performed using a simultaneous search to identify epistatically interacting QTL affecting behavioural and morphological traits and uncovered several novel epistatic interactions that reached either genome-wide or suggestive significance levels as determined by a randomisation testing approach. These results provide novel insight into the genetic architecture of the regulation of behavioural as well as morphological phenotypes and call for more studies of epistasis for this group of traits.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Behavior, Animal*
  • Crosses, Genetic
  • DNA / genetics
  • DNA / isolation & purification
  • Female
  • Genotype
  • Male
  • Models, Genetic
  • Phenotype
  • Quantitative Trait Loci*
  • Zebrafish / genetics*
  • Zebrafish / physiology


  • DNA