© 2015 He et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited. Experimental error control is very important in quantitative trait locus (QTL) mapping. Although numerous statistical methods have been developed for QTL mapping, a QTL detection model based on an appropriate experimental design that emphasizes error control has not been developed. Lattice design is very suitable for experiments with large sample sizes, which is usually required for accurate mapping of quantitative traits. However, the lack of a QTL mapping method based on lattice design dictates that the arithmetic mean or adjusted mean of each line of observations in the lattice design had to be used as a response variable, resulting in low QTL detection power. As an improvement, we developed a QTL mapping method termed composite interval mapping based on lattice design (CIMLD). In the lattice design, experimental errors are decomposed into random errors and block-within-replication errors. Four levels of block-within-replication errors were simulated to show the power of QTL detection under different error controls. The simulation results showed that the arithmetic mean method, which is equivalent to a method under random complete block design (RCBD), was very sensitive to the size of the block variance and with the increase of block variance, the power of QTL detection decreased from 51.3% to 9.4%. In contrast to the RCBD method, the power of CIMLD and the adjusted mean method did not change for different block variances. The CIMLD method showed 1.2- to 7.6-fold higher power of QTL detection than the arithmetic or adjusted mean methods. Our proposed method was applied to real soybean (Glycine max) data as an example and 10 QTLs for biomass were identified that explained 65.87% of the phenotypic variation, while only three and two QTLs were identified by arithmetic and adjusted mean methods, respectively.
He, J., Li, J., Huang, Z., Zhao, T., Xing, G., Gai, J., & Guan, R. (2015). Composite interval mapping based on lattice design for error control may increase power of quantitative trait locus detection. PLoS ONE, 10(6). https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0130125