RFLP approach to breeding for quantitative traits in plants—a critique
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A number of recent papers suggest that use of RFLPs as markers offers a clear advantage in breeding for improvement in quantitative traits (QTs). The concepts underlying establishment of linkage between RFLP markers and QT loci stem from three papers on tomato published during 1987–1991. Essentially, continuously varying QT phenotypes are assigned to RFLP genotype classes, which can be considered to be determined by a single, diallelic gene with codominant alleles. Linkage is inferred through statistical analysis. Similarly, interaction between markers and QT is also tested by an analysis of variance. Here, the statistical methods employed in these three papers to detect linkage are critically evaluated, especially because subsequent investigations take the concepts developed in these papers as proven. In this paper, we examine the three fundamental papersde novo. We scrutinize the methods employed and the inferences drawn to bring to light what we believe are conceptual drawbacks.
KeywordsRFLP molecular markers quantitative traits linkage analysis of variance plant breeding
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