Genetical genomics in livestock: potentials and pitfalls

C Haley, D J de Koning

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

Genetical genomics combines gene mapping and gene expression approaches to identify loci controlling gene expression (eQTLs) that may underlie functional trait variation. The combination of genomic tools has great potential to facilitate dissection of complex traits, but studies need careful design and interpretation. Here we explore both the potential and the pitfalls of this approach with illustrations from actual studies. There are now an appreciable number of studies in model species and even humans demonstrating the feasibility of genetical genomics. However, most studies are too limited in size and design to unlock the full potential of the approach. Limited statistical power of studies exacerbates the problem of detection of false-positive eQTL and some reported results should be interpreted with caution. As one approach to more successful implementation of genetical genomics, we propose to combine expression studies with fine mapping of functional trait loci. This synergistic approach facilitates the implementation of genetical genomics for species without inbred resources but is equally applicable to model species. These properties make it particularly suitable for livestock populations where many QTL are already in the public domain and potentially very large pedigreed populations can be accessed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)10-2
Number of pages3
JournalAnimal Genetics
Volume37 Suppl 1
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2006

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • Animals
  • Animals, Domestic
  • Cattle
  • Chromosome Mapping
  • Gene Expression Profiling
  • Genomics
  • Pedigree
  • Quantitative Trait Loci


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