Functional mapping of growth and development

Authors

  • Yao Li,

    1. Department of Statistics, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32611 USA
    2. Department of Public Health Sciences, Pennsylvania State College of Medicine, Hershey, PA 17033 USA
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  • Rongling Wu

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Public Health Sciences, Pennsylvania State College of Medicine, Hershey, PA 17033 USA
    2. Department of Statistics, Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA 16802 USA
    3. College of Forest Resources and Environments, Nanjing Forestry University, Nanjing 210037, China
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Tel: (717)531-0003 ext 287520; Fax: (717)531-5779; E-mail: rwu@hes.hmc.psu.edu

Abstract

Understanding how an organism develops into a fully functioning adult from a mass of undifferentiated cells may reveal different strategies that allow the organism to survive under limiting conditions. Here, we review an analytical model for characterizing quantitative trait loci (QTLs) that underlie variation in growth trajectories and developmental timing. This model, called functional mapping, incorporates fundamental principles behind biological processes or networks that are bridged with mathematical functions into a statistical mapping framework. Functional mapping estimates parameters that determine the shape and function of a particular biological process, thus providing a flexible platform to test biologically meaningful hypotheses regarding the complex relationships between gene action and development.

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