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QTL methodology for response curves on the basis of non-linear mixed models, with an illustration to senescence in potato


The improvement of quantitative traits in plant breeding will in general benefit from a better understanding of the genetic basis underlying their development. In this paper, a QTL mapping strategy is presented for modelling the development of phenotypic traits over time. Traditionally, crop growth models are used to study development. We propose an integration of crop growth models and QTL models within the framework of non-linear mixed models. We illustrate our approach with a QTL model for leaf senescence in a diploid potato cross. Assuming a logistic progression of senescence in time, two curve parameters are modelled, slope and inflection point, as a function of QTLs. The final QTL model for our example data contained four QTLs, of which two affected the position of the inflection point, one the senescence progression-rate, and a final one both inflection point and rate.

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We are grateful to Cajo ter Braak and H-P Piepho for their discussion and comments on the manuscript. We also thank the Editor and two anonymous reviewers whose comments helped to improve the final version of the manuscript.

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Correspondence to M. Malosetti.

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Communicated by J. L. Jannink

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Malosetti, M., Visser, R.G.F., Celis-Gamboa, C. et al. QTL methodology for response curves on the basis of non-linear mixed models, with an illustration to senescence in potato. Theor Appl Genet 113, 288–300 (2006).

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  • Curve Parameter
  • Composite Interval Mapping
  • Chromosome Versus
  • Individual Time Point
  • Senescence Curve