Accuracy of mapping quantitative trait loci in autogamous species

Theor Appl Genet. 1992 Sep;84(7-8):803-11. doi: 10.1007/BF00227388.


The development of linkage maps with large numbers of molecular markers has stimulated the search for methods to map genes involved in quantitative traits (QTLs). A promising method, proposed by Lander and Botstein (1989), employs pairs of neighbouring markers to obtain maximum linkage information about the presence of a QTL within the enclosed chromosomal segment. In this paper the accuracy of this method was investigated by computer simulation. The results show that there is a reasonable probability of detecting QTLs that explain at least 5% of the total variance. For this purpose a minimum population of 200 backcross or F2 individuals is necessary. Both the number of individuals and the relative size of the genotypic effect of the QTL are important factors determining the mapping precision. On the average, a QTL with 5% or 10% explained variance is mapped on an interval of 40 or 20 centiMorgans, respectively. Of course, QTLs with a larger genotypic effect will be located more precisely. It must be noted, however, that the interval length is rather variable.