Journal article

Leveraging genetically simple traits to identify small-effect variants for complex phenotypes

KE Kemper, MD Littlejohn, T Lopdell, BJ Hayes, LE Bennett, RP Williams, XQ Xu, PM Visscher, MJ Carrick, ME Goddard

BMC Genomics | BIOMED CENTRAL LTD | Published : 2016


BACKGROUND: Polymorphisms underlying complex traits often explain a small part (less than 1 %) of the phenotypic variance (σ2P). This makes identification of mutations underling complex traits difficult and usually only a subset of large-effect loci are identified. One approach to identify more loci is to increase sample size of experiments but here we propose an alternative. The aim of this paper is to use secondary phenotypes for genetically simple traits during the QTL discovery phase for complex traits. We demonstrate this approach in a dairy cattle data set where the complex traits were milk production phenotypes (fat, milk and protein yield; fat and protein percentage in milk) measured..

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University of Melbourne Researchers


Awarded by Australian Research Council

Funding Acknowledgements

This research was supported under Australian Research Council's Discovery Projects funding scheme (project DP1093502). The views expressed herein are those of the authors and are not necessarily those of the Australian Research Council. We thank the Department of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport & Resources; the Dairy Futures Co-operative Research Centre and Livestock Improvement Corporation for the provision of data for this project. We also gratefully acknowledge the financial support provide by the Ministry for Primary Industries (Wellington, New Zealand), who co-funded the work through the Primary Growth Partnership.