Genetics Selection Evolution

, 33:587 | Cite as

A sampling algorithm for segregation analysis

  • Bruce TierEmail author
  • John Henshall
Open Access


Methods for detecting Quantitative Trait Loci (QTL) without markers have generally used iterative peeling algorithms for determining genotype probabilities. These algorithms have considerable shortcomings in complex pedigrees. A Monte Carlo Markov chain (MCMC) method which samples the pedigree of the whole population jointly is described. Simultaneous sampling of the pedigree was achieved by sampling descent graphs using the Metropolis-Hastings algorithm. A descent graph describes the inheritance state of each allele and provides pedigrees guaranteed to be consistent with Mendelian sampling. Sampling descent graphs overcomes most, if not all, of the limitations incurred by iterative peeling algorithms. The algorithm was able to find the QTL in most of the simulated populations. However, when the QTL was not modeled or found then its effect was ascribed to the polygenic component. No QTL were detected when they were not simulated.


descent graphs Monte Carlo Markov chain quantitative trait loci Metropolis-Hastings 

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Copyright information

© INRA, EDP Sciences 2001

This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver ( applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Animal Genetics and Breeding Unit (A joint institute of NSW Agriculture and the University of New England)University of New EnglandArmidaleAustralia

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