Functional mapping has emerged as a powerful tool for mapping quantitative trait loci (QTL) that control developmental patterns of complex dynamic traits. Original functional mapping has been constructed within the context of simple interval mapping, without consideration of separate multiple linked QTL for a dynamic trait. In this article, we present a statistical framework for mapping QTL that affect dynamic traits by capitalizing on the strengths of functional mapping and composite interval mapping. Within this so-called composite functional-mapping framework, functional mapping models the time-dependent genetic effects of a QTL tested within a marker interval using a biologically meaningful parametric function, whereas composite interval mapping models the time-dependent genetic effects of the markers outside the test interval to control the genome background using a flexible nonparametric approach based on Legendre polynomials. Such a semiparametric framework was formulated by a maximum-likelihood model and implemented with the EM algorithm, allowing for the estimation and the test of the mathematical parameters that define the QTL effects and the regression coefficients of the Legendre polynomials that describe the marker effects. Simulation studies were performed to investigate the statistical behavior of composite functional mapping and compare its advantage in separating multiple linked QTL as compared to functional mapping. We used the new mapping approach to analyze a genetic mapping example in rice, leading to the identification of multiple QTL, some of which are linked on the same chromosome, that control the developmental trajectory of leaf age.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes