A general polyploid model for analyzing gene segregation in outcrossing tetraploid species

Rongling Wu, Maria Gallo-Meagher, Ramon C. Littell, Zhao Bang Zeng

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

78 Scopus citations


Polyploidy has played an important role in higher plant evolution and applied plant breeding. Polyploids are commonly categorized as allopolyploids resulting from the increase of chromosome number through hybridization and subsequent chromosome doubling or autopolyploids due to chromosome doubling of the same genome. Allopolyploids undergo bivalent pairing at meiosis because only homologous chromosomes pair. For autopolyploids, however, all homologous chromosomes can pair at the same time so that multivalents and, therefore, double reductions are formed. In this article, we use a maximum-likelihood method to develop a general polyploid model for estimating gene segregation patterns from molecular markers in a full-sib family derived from an arbitrary polyploid combining meiotic behaviors of both bivalent and multivalent pairings. Two meiotic parameters, one describing the preference of homologous chromosome pairing (expressed as the preferential pairing factor) typical of allopolyploids and the other specifying the degree of double reduction of autopolyploids, are estimated. The type of molecular markers used can be fully informative vs. partially informative or dominant vs. codominant. Simulation studies show that our polyploid model is well suited to estimate the preferential pairing factor and the frequency of double reduction at meiosis, which should help to characterize gene segregation in the progeny of autopolyploids. The implications of this model for linkage mapping, population genetic studies, and polyploid classification are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)869-882
Number of pages14
Issue number2
StatePublished - Nov 17 2001

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Genetics


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