The genetic architecture of embryonic developmental rate and genetic covariation with age at maturation in rainbow trout Oncorhynchus mykiss
The genetic architecture underlying variation in embryonic developmental rate (DR) and genetic covariation with age of maturation (MAT) was investigated in rainbow trout Oncorhynchus mykiss. Highly significant additive parental effects and more limited evidence of epistatic effects on progeny hatching time were detected in three diallel sets of families. Genome scans with an average of 142 microsatellite loci from all 29 linkage groups in two families detected significant quantitative trait loci (QTL) for developmental rate on RT-8 and RT-30 with genome-wide and chromosome-wide effects, respectively. The QTL on linkage group RT-8 explained 23·7% of the phenotypic variation and supports results from previous studies. The co-localization of QTL for both DR and MAT to several linkage groups and the observation that alleles associated with faster developmental rate were found significantly more often in early maturing rather than typical and later maturing male ancestors supports the hypothesis of genetic covariation between DR and MAT. The maturation background and schedule of additional sires, however, did not have a consistent association with their progeny hatching times, suggesting that other genetic, environmental and physiological effects contribute to variation in these life-history traits.
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