Unlike annuals, all perennial plants undergo seasonal transitions during ontogeny. As an adaptive response to seasonal changes in climate, the seasonal pattern of growth is likely to be under genetic control, although its underlying genetic basis remains unknown. Here, we develop a computational model that can map specific quantitative trait loci (QTLs) responsible for seasonal transitions of growth in perennials.The model is founded on functionalmapping, a statistical framework to map developmental dynamics, which is reformed to integrate a seasonally adjusted growth function.The new model is equipped with a capacity to characterize the genetic effects of QTLs on seasonal alternation at different ages and then to better elucidate the genetic architecture of development. The model is implemented with a series of testing procedures, including (i) how a QTL controls an overall ontogenetic growth curve, (ii) how the QTL determines seasonal trajectories of growth within years and (iii) how it determines the dynamic nature of age-specific season response.The model was validated through computer simulation.The extension of season adjustment to other types of biological curves is statistically straightforward, facilitating a wider variety of genetic studies into ontogenetic growth and development in perennial plants.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Information Systems
- Molecular Biology