Modelling of genetic interactions improves prediction of hybrid patterns--a case study in domestic fowl.
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A major challenge in complex trait genetics is to unravel how multiple loci and environmental factors together cause phenotypic diversity. Both first (F(1)) and second (F(2)) generation hybrids often display phenotypes that deviate from what is expected under intermediate inheritance. We have here studied two chicken F(2) populations generated by crossing divergent chicken lines to assess how epistatic loci, identified in earlier quantitative trait locus (QTL) studies, contribute to hybrid deviations from the mid-parent phenotype. Empirical evidence suggests that the average phenotypes of the intercross birds tend to be lower than the midpoint between the parental means in both crosses. Our results confirm that epistatic interactions, despite a relatively small contribution to the phenotypic variance, play an important role in the deviation of hybrid phenotypes from the mid-parent values (i.e. multi-locus hybrid genotypes lead to lower rather than higher body weights). To a lesser extent, dominance also appears to contribute to the mid-parent deviation, at least in one of the crosses. This observation coincides with the hypothesis that hybridization tends to break up co-adapted gene complexes, i.e. generate Bateson-Dobzhansky-Muller incompatibilities.
author list (cited authors)
lvarez-Castro, J. M., Le Rouzic, A., Andersson, L., Siegel, P. B., & Carlborg, .
complete list of authors
Álvarez-Castro, José M||Le Rouzic, Arnaud||Andersson, Leif||Siegel, Paul B||Carlborg, Örjan