To identify quantitative trait loci (QTL) influencing early maturation (EM) in rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss), a genome scan was performed using 100 microsatellite loci across 29 linkage groups. Six inter-strain paternal half-sib families using three inter-strain F-1 brothers (approximately 50 progeny in each family) derived from two strains that differ in the propensity for EM were used in the study. Alleles derived from both parental sources were observed to contribute to the expression of EM in the progeny of the brothers. Four genome-wide significant QTL regions (i.e., RT-8, -17, -24, and -30) were observed. EM QTL detected on RT-8 and -24 demonstrated significant and suggestive QTL effects in both male and female progeny. Furthermore, within both male and female full-sib groupings, QTL on RT-8 and -24 were detected in two or more of the five parents used. Significant genome-wide and several strong chromosome-wide QTL for EM localized to different regions in males and females, suggesting some sex-specific control. Namely, QTL detected on RT-13, -15, -21, and -30 were associated with EM only in females, and those on RT-3, -17, and -19 were associated with EM only in males. Within the QTL regions identified, a comparison of syntenic EST markers from the rainbow trout linkage map with the zebrafish (Danio rerio) genome identified several putative candidate genes that may influence EM.
- Early maturation
- Life history