Mapping quantitative trait loci for ordered categorical traits in four-way crosses



Many quantitative traits of economical importance are ordinal in nature. Although methods of mapping quantitative trait loci (QTLs) for continuous quantitative characters are well developed, such methods for ordinal characters are generally lacking. In this paper, we develop a method based on the framework of a generalized linear model using four-way cross populations. The method estimates and tests the average effects of a gene substitution in the parents. All markers in the same linkage group are simultaneously used to infer the allelic transmission of a putative QTL. General results of the method are demonstrated by a few simulation experiments. We discuss extensions of the method to QTL mapping in full-sib families.