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MetaQTL: a package of new computational methods for the meta-analysis of QTL mapping experiments

Authors: Charcosset Alain; Goffinet Bruno; Veyrieras Jean-Baptiste;

MetaQTL: a package of new computational methods for the meta-analysis of QTL mapping experiments

Abstract

Abstract Background Integration of multiple results from Quantitative Trait Loci (QTL) studies is a key point to understand the genetic determinism of complex traits. Up to now many efforts have been made by public database developers to facilitate the storage, compilation and visualization of multiple QTL mapping experiment results. However, studying the congruency between these results still remains a complex task. Presently, the few computational and statistical frameworks to do so are mainly based on empirical methods (e.g. consensus genetic maps are generally built by iterative projection). Results In this article, we present a new computational and statistical package, called MetaQTL, for carrying out whole-genome meta-analysis of QTL mapping experiments. Contrary to existing methods, MetaQTL offers a complete statistical process to establish a consensus model for both the marker and the QTL positions on the whole genome. First, MetaQTL implements a new statistical approach to merge multiple distinct genetic maps into a single consensus map which is optimal in terms of weighted least squares and can be used to investigate recombination rate heterogeneity between studies. Secondly, assuming that QTL can be projected on the consensus map, MetaQTL offers a new clustering approach based on a Gaussian mixture model to decide how many QTL underly the distribution of the observed QTL. Conclusion We demonstrate using simulations that the usual model choice criteria from mixture model literature perform relatively well in this context. As expected, simulations also show that this new clustering algorithm leads to a reduction in the length of the confidence interval of QTL location provided that across studies there are enough observed QTL for each underlying true QTL location. The usefulness of our approach is illustrated on published QTL detection results of flowering time in maize. Finally, MetaQTL is freely available at http://bioinformatics.org/mqtl.

Subjects by Vocabulary

Microsoft Academic Graph classification: Computer science Sequence analysis Sequence alignment Quantitative trait locus Machine learning computer.software_genre Genome Genetic determinism Cluster analysis business.industry Mixture model Visualization Genetic marker Artificial intelligence DNA microarray business computer

Library of Congress Subject Headings: lcsh:Computer applications to medicine. Medical informatics lcsh:QH301-705.5 lcsh:Biology (General) lcsh:R858-859.7

Keywords

Genetic Markers, Quantitative Trait Loci, Biochemistry, User-Computer Interface, Meta-Analysis as Topic, Structural Biology, Computer Graphics, Molecular Biology, Methodology Article, Applied Mathematics, Chromosome Mapping, Sequence Analysis, DNA, Computer Science Applications, Sequence Alignment, Software

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  • citations
    This is an alternative to the "Influence" indicator, which also reflects the overall/total impact of an article in the research community at large, based on the underlying citation network (diachronically).
    192
    popularity
    This indicator reflects the "current" impact/attention (the "hype") of an article in the research community at large, based on the underlying citation network.
    Top 1%
    influence
    This indicator reflects the overall/total impact of an article in the research community at large, based on the underlying citation network (diachronically).
    Top 10%
    impulse
    This indicator reflects the initial momentum of an article directly after its publication, based on the underlying citation network.
    Top 10%
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citations
This is an alternative to the "Influence" indicator, which also reflects the overall/total impact of an article in the research community at large, based on the underlying citation network (diachronically).
BIP!Citations provided by BIP!
popularity
This indicator reflects the "current" impact/attention (the "hype") of an article in the research community at large, based on the underlying citation network.
BIP!Popularity provided by BIP!
influence
This indicator reflects the overall/total impact of an article in the research community at large, based on the underlying citation network (diachronically).
BIP!Influence provided by BIP!
impulse
This indicator reflects the initial momentum of an article directly after its publication, based on the underlying citation network.
BIP!Impulse provided by BIP!
192
Top 1%
Top 10%
Top 10%
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