Moving from QTL experimental results to the utilization of QTL in breeding programmes

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Results from quantitative trait loci studies cannot be readily implemented into breeding schemes through marker assisted selection because of uncertainty about whether the quantitative trait loci identified are real and whether the identified quantitative trait loci are segregating in the breeding population. The present paper outlines and discusses strategies to reduce uncertainty in the results from quantitative trait loci studies. One strategy to confirm results from quantitative trait loci studies is to combine P-values from many quantitative trait loci experiments, while another is to establish a confirmation study. The power of a confirmation study must be high to ensure that the postulated quantitative trait loci can be verified. In the calculation of the experimental power, there are many issues that have to be addressed: size of the quantitative trait loci to be detected, significance level required, experimental design and expected heterozygosity for the design. To ensure marker assisted selection can be quickly implemented once quantitative trait loci are confirmed, DNA samples should be retained from daughters, and the sires and dams of elite sires.

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