Bayesian association mapping of multiple quantitative trait loci and its application to the analysis of genetic variation among Oryza sativa L. germplasms

Theor Appl Genet. 2007 May;114(8):1437-49. doi: 10.1007/s00122-007-0529-x. Epub 2007 Mar 14.


One way to use a crop germplasm collection directly to map QTLs without using line-crossing experiments is the whole genome association mapping. A major problem with association mapping is the presence of population structure, which can lead to both false positives and failure to detect genuine associations (i.e., false negatives). Particularly in highly selfing species such as Asian cultivated rice, high levels of population structure are expected and therefore the efficiency of association mapping remains almost unknown. Here, we propose an approach that combines a Bayesian method for mapping multiple QTLs with a regression method that directly incorporates estimates of population structure. That is, the effects due to both multiple QTLs and population structure were included in our statistical model. We evaluated the efficiency of our approach in simulated- and real-trait analyses of a rice germplasm collection. Simulation analyses based on real marker data showed that our model could suppress both false-positive and false-negative rates and the error of estimation of genetic effects over single QTL models, indicating that our model has statistically desirable attributes over single QTL models. As real traits, we analyzed the size and shape of milled rice grains and found significant markers that may be linked to QTLs reported previously. Association mapping should have good prospects in highly selfing species such as rice if proper methods are adopted. Our approach will be useful for the whole genome association mapping of various selfing crop species.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Bayes Theorem*
  • Computer Simulation
  • Genetic Variation*
  • Genome, Plant / genetics
  • Models, Genetic
  • Models, Statistical
  • Oryza / genetics*
  • Physical Chromosome Mapping / methods*
  • Quantitative Trait Loci*