Submitted to: National Breeders Roundtable Proceedings
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: May 1, 1997
Publication Date: N/A
Technical Abstract: With the recent generation of a molecular genetic map for the chicken, it is possible to dissect complex traits into the individual quantitative trait loci (QTL) that produce the phenotype. Using genetic markers that are roughly spaced throughout the genetic map, one can systematically scan each region of the genome as to whether it contains a gene that significantly affects the trait of interest. This information will eventually lead to markers that are more tightly linked to the responsible genes and ultimately, to the gene itself, which will impact both the scientific and industrial communities. In order to conduct a successful search, care must be taken in all the steps. The most critical step is the design of the resource population where extra care must be taken to address the relevant questions and to attain the necessary power. With phenotyping, traits should be broken down into their basic components and, if necessary, individuals should be progeny tested. In genotyping, marker should be spaced 30-50 cM apart and there are several strategies to minimize the number of individuals that need to be scored. Finally, several different statistical analyses should be conducted to gain confidence in the results. Given the large efforts required in whole genome searches, carefully conducted QTL studies are needed to achieve the potential economic payoff of molecular genetics.