Long-term introgression of crop genes into wild sunflower populations
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A strategy of DNA pooling aimed at identifying markers linked to quantitative trait loci (QTLs), ‘Sequential Bulked Typing’ (SBT), is presented. The method proposed consists in pooling DNA from consecutive pairs of individuals ranked phenotypically, i.e., pools are formed with individuals ranked (1st, 2nd), (3rd, 4th),…, (N-1st, Nth). The N/2 pools are subsequently amplified using the polymerase chain reaction (PCR). If the whole population is typed the number of PCRs per marker is halved with respect to individual typing (IT). But if this strategy is combined with selective genotyping of extreme individuals savings can be further increased. Two extreme cases are considered: in the first one (SBT0), it is assumed that only presence or absence of a given allele can be ascertained in a pool; in the second one (SBT1), it is further assumed that differences between allele band intensities can be distinguished. The theory to estimate by maximum likelihood the QTL effect and its position with respect to flanking markers is presented. The behaviour of IT and SBT was studied using stochastic computer simulation in backcross and F2 populations. Three percentages of subpattern distinction (0, 50 and 100%) two population sizes (n=1200 and 600) and two QTL effects (a=0.1 and 0.25 standard deviations) were considered. SBT1 had the same power as individual genotyping at half the genotyping costs in all situations studied. Accuracy of QTL location is not increased with a dense number of markers, as opposed to individual typing. As a result DNA pooling is not useful for accurate location of the QTL but rather to pick up genome regions containing QTLs of at least moderate effect. The theory developed provides the general theoretical framework to deal with any DNA pooling strategy aimed at detecting QTLs.
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