Detection of quantitative trait loci from frequency changes of marker alleles under selection

Genet Res. 1993 Dec;62(3):195-203. doi: 10.1017/s0016672300031906.


A method was developed to estimate effects of quantitative trait loci (QTL) by maximum likelihood using information from changes of gene frequency at marker loci under selection, assuming an additive model of complete linkage between markers and QTL. The method was applied to data from 16 molecular and coat colour marker loci in mouse lines derived from the F2 of two inbred strains which were divergently selected on 6-week weight for 21 generations. In 4 regions of the genome, marker allele frequencies were more extreme than could be explained by sampling, implying selection at nearby QTL. An effect of about 0.5 standard deviations was located on chromosome 11, and accounted for nearly 10% of the genetic variance in the base population. QTL with effects as small as 0.2 phenotypic standard deviations could be detected. For typing of a given number of individuals, the power of detection of QTL is very high compared to, for example, analysis of an F2 population. The joint effects of linkage and selection were investigated by Monte Carlo simulation. Marker gene frequencies change little as a consequence of selection at a QTL unless the marker and QTL are less than about 20 cM apart.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Alleles*
  • Animals
  • Gene Frequency*
  • Genetic Linkage
  • Genetic Markers*
  • Likelihood Functions
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL / genetics
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL / microbiology
  • Mice, Inbred DBA / genetics
  • Mice, Inbred DBA / microbiology
  • Monte Carlo Method
  • Retroviridae / genetics
  • Selection, Genetic


  • Genetic Markers