Evolutionary biologists attempting to detect quantitative trait loci (QTL) in natural populations have thus far had to carry out some kind of cross with their study organism. Such techniques often increase the probability of detecting linkage, but are impossible or undesirable in many populations. A potential way of overcoming this problem is to carry out linkage studies in large complex pedigrees. In this paper we contrast the power to detect linkage in a complex pedigree of red deer (Cervus elaphus) with that of the widely used half-sib design. When a QTL of magnitude 1 phenotypic standard deviation is segregating and completely linked to a marker, the extended pedigree has power of 0.67, whereas the half-sib design has power of just 0.21. We conclude that detecting QTL may be possible in intensively studied natural populations, provided detailed life history data and good pedigree information are available.
|Number of pages||10|
|Publication status||Published - Sep 1999|