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      The nature and identification of quantitative trait loci: a community's view.

      Nature reviews. Genetics

      Quantitative Trait Loci, Animals, Genetically Modified, Chromosome Mapping, Animals, standards, Humans

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          Abstract

          This white paper by eighty members of the Complex Trait Consortium presents a community's view on the approaches and statistical analyses that are needed for the identification of genetic loci that determine quantitative traits. Quantitative trait loci (QTLs) can be identified in several ways, but is there a definitive test of whether a candidate locus actually corresponds to a specific QTL?

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          Most cited references 24

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          A highly efficient recombineering-based method for generating conditional knockout mutations.

          Phage-based Escherichia coli homologous recombination systems have recently been developed that now make it possible to subclone or modify DNA cloned into plasmids, BACs, or PACs without the need for restriction enzymes or DNA ligases. This new form of chromosome engineering, termed recombineering, has many different uses for functional genomic studies. Here we describe a new recombineering-based method for generating conditional mouse knockout (cko) mutations. This method uses homologous recombination mediated by the lambda phage Red proteins, to subclone DNA from BACs into high-copy plasmids by gap repair, and together with Cre or Flpe recombinases, to introduce loxP or FRT sites into the subcloned DNA. Unlike other methods that use short 45-55-bp regions of homology for recombineering, our method uses much longer regions of homology. We also make use of several new E. coli strains, in which the proteins required for recombination are expressed from a defective temperature-sensitive lambda prophage, and the Cre or Flpe recombinases from an arabinose-inducible promoter. We also describe two new Neo selection cassettes that work well in both E. coli and mouse ES cells. Our method is fast, efficient, and reliable and makes it possible to generate cko-targeting vectors in less than 2 wk. This method should also facilitate the generation of knock-in mutations and transgene constructs, as well as expedite the analysis of regulatory elements and functional domains in or near genes.
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            Finding genes that underlie complex traits.

            Phenotypic variation among organisms is central to evolutionary adaptations underlying natural and artificial selection, and also determines individual susceptibility to common diseases. These types of complex traits pose special challenges for genetic analysis because of gene-gene and gene-environment interactions, genetic heterogeneity, low penetrance, and limited statistical power. Emerging genome resources and technologies are enabling systematic identification of genes underlying these complex traits. We propose standards for proof of gene discovery in complex traits and evaluate the nature of the genes identified to date. These proof-of-concept studies demonstrate the insights that can be expected from the accelerating pace of gene discovery in this field.
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              Analysing complex genetic traits with chromosome substitution strains.

              Many valuable animal models of human disease are known and new models are continually being generated in existing inbred strains,. Some disease models are simple mendelian traits, but most have a polygenic basis. The current approach to identifying quantitative trait loci (QTLs) that underlie such traits is to localize them in crosses, construct congenic strains carrying individual QTLs, and finally map and clone the genes. This process is time-consuming and expensive, requiring the genotyping of large crosses and many generations of breeding. Here we describe a different approach in which a panel of chromosome substitution strains (CSSs) is used for QTL mapping. Each of these strains has a single chromosome from the donor strain substituting for the corresponding chromosome in the host strain. We discuss the construction, applications and advantages of CSSs compared with conventional crosses for detecting and analysing QTLs, including those that have weak phenotypic effects.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                2063446
                14634638
                10.1038/nrg1206

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