Apomixis, or asexual reproduction through seeds, occurs in over 400 species of angiosperms. Although apomixis can favorably perpetuate desired genotypes through successive seed generation, it may also bring about some difficulty for linkage analysis and quantitative trait locus mapping. In this article, we explore the issue of how apomixis affects the precision and power of linkage analysis with molecular markers. We derive a statistical model for estimating the linkage between different markers when some progeny are derived from apomixis. The model was constructed within the maximum likelihood framework and implemented with the EM algorithm. A series of procedures are formulated to test the linkage of markers, the rate of apomixis, and the degree of genetic interference during meiosis. The model was examined and validated through simulation studies. The model will provide a tool for linkage mapping and evolutionary studies for plant species that undergo apomixis.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Agronomy and Crop Science