The role of imprinting in shaping development has been ubiquitously observed in plants, animals, and humans. However, a statistical method that can detect and estimate the effects of imprinted quantitative trait loci (iQTL) over the genome has not been extensively developed. In this article, we propose a maximum likelihood approach for testing and estimating the imprinted effects of iQTL that contribute to variation in a quantitative trait. This approach, implemented with the EM algorithm, allows for a genome-wide scan for the existence of iQTL. This approach was used to reanalyze published data in an F2 family derived from the LG/S and SM/S mouse strains. Several iQTL that regulate the growth of body weight by expressing paternally inherited alleles were identified. Our approach provides a standard procedure for testing the statistical significance of iQTL involved in the genetic control of complex traits.
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