Combining QTL data for HDL cholesterol levels from two different species leads to smaller confidence intervals.

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Publication Date



Cholesterol-HDL, Confidence-Intervals, Crosses-Genetic, Female, Genetic-Markers, Male, Mice, Quantitative-Trait-Loci, Rats

JAX Location

see Reprint Collection, a pdf is available.

JAX Source

Heredity 2010; 105(5):426-32.


Quantitative trait locus (QTL) analysis detects regions of a genome that are linked to a complex trait. Once a QTL is detected, the region is narrowed by positional cloning in the hope of determining the underlying candidate gene-methods used include creating congenic strains, comparative genomics and gene expression analysis. Combined cross analysis may also be used for species such as the mouse, if the QTL is detected in multiple crosses. This process involves the recoding of QTL data on a per-chromosome basis, with the genotype recoded on the basis of high- and low-allele status. The data are then combined and analyzed; a successful analysis results in a narrowed and more significant QTL. Using parallel methods, we show that it is possible to narrow a QTL by combining data from two different species, the rat and the mouse. We combined standardized high-density lipoprotein phenotype values and genotype data for the rat and mouse using information from one rat cross and two mouse crosses. We successfully combined data within homologous regions from rat Chr 6 onto mouse Chr 12, and from rat Chr 10 onto mouse Chr 11. The combinations and analyses resulted in QTL with smaller confidence intervals and increased logarithm of the odds ratio scores. The numbers of candidate genes encompassed by the QTL on mouse Chr 11 and 12 were reduced from 1343 to 761 genes and from 613 to 304 genes, respectively. This is the first time that QTL data from different species were successfully combined; this method promises to be a useful tool for narrowing QTL intervals.

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