Fine-mapping natural alleles: quantitative complementation to the rescue



Mapping the genes responsible for natural variation and divergence is a challenging task. Many studies have mapped genes to genomic regions or generated lists of candidates, but few studies have implicated specific genes with a high standard of evidence. I propose that combining recent advances in genomic engineering with a modified version of the quantitative complementation test will help turn candidate genes into causal genes. By creating loss-of-function mutations in natural strains, and using these mutations to quantitatively fail-to-complement natural alleles, fine mapping should be greatly facilitated. As an example, I propose that the CRISPR/Cas9 system could be combined with the FLP/FRT system to fine-map genes in the numerous systems where inversions have frustrated these efforts.