Many higher plants of economic and biological importance undergo apomixis in which the maternal tissue of the ovule forms a seed, without experiencing meiosis and fertilization. This feature of apomixis has made it difficult to perform linkage mapping which relies on meiotic recombination. Here, we describe a computational model for mapping quantitative trait loci (QTLs) that control complex traits in apomictic plants. The model is founded on the mixture model-based likelihood in which maternal genotypes are dissolved into two possible components generated by meiotic and apomictic processes, respectively. The EM algorithm was implemented to discern meiotic and apomictic genotypes and, therefore, allow the marker-QTL linkage relationship to be estimated. By capitalizing on reciprocal crosses, the model is renovated to estimate and test imprinting effects of QTLs, providing a better gateway to characterize the genetic architecture of complex traits. The model was validated through computer simulation and further demonstrated for its usefulness by analyzing a real data for an apomictic woody plant. The model has for the first time provided a unique tool for genetic mapping in apomictic plants.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Plant Science