The biological and statistical advantages of functional mapping result from joint modeling of the mean-covariance structures for developmental trajectories of a complex trait measured at a series of time points. While an increased number of time points can better describe the dynamic pattern of trait development, significant difficulties in performing functional mapping arise from prohibitive computational times required as well as from modeling the structure of a high-dimensional covariance matrix. In this article, we develop a statistical model for functional mapping of quantitative trait loci (QTL) that govern the developmental process of a quantitative trait on the basis of wavelet dimension reduction. By breaking an original signal down into a spectrum by taking its averages (smooth coefficients) and differences (detail coefficients), we used the discrete Haar wavelet shrinkage technique to transform an inherently highdimensional biological problem into its tractable low-dimensional representation within the framework of functional mapping constructed by a Gaussian mixture model. Unlike conventional nonparametric modeling of wavelet shrinkage, we incorporate mathematical aspects of developmental trajectories into the smooth coefficients used for QTL mapping, thus preserving the biological relevance of functional mapping in formulating a number of hypothesis tests at the interplay between gene actions/interactions and developmental patterns for complex phenotypes. This wavelet-based parametric functional mapping has been statistically examined and compared with full-dimensional functional mapping through simulation studies. It holds great promise as a powerful statistical tool to unravel the genetic machinery of developmental trajectories with large-scale high-dimensional data.
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