Invited review: Genome-wide association analysis for quantitative traits in livestock – a selective review of statistical models and experimental designs
Quantitative or complex traits are controlled by many genes and environmental factors. Most traits in livestock breeding are quantitative traits. Mapping genes and causative mutations generating the genetic variance of these traits is still a very active area of research in livestock genetics. Since genome-wide and dense SNP panels are available for most livestock species, genome-wide association studies (GWASs) have become the method of choice in mapping experiments. Different statistical models are used for GWASs. We will review the frequently used single-marker models and additionally describe Bayesian multi-marker models. The importance of nonadditive genetic and genotype-by-environment effects along with GWAS methods to detect them will be briefly discussed. Different mapping populations are used and will also be reviewed. Whenever possible, our own real-data examples are included to illustrate the reviewed methods and designs. Future research directions including post-GWAS strategies are outlined.