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Using Heterogeneous Stocks for Fine-Mapping Genetically Complex Traits

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In this chapter we will review both the rationale and experimental design for using Heterogeneous Stock (HS) populations for fine-mapping of complex traits in mice and rats. We define an HS as an outbred population derived from an intercross between two or more inbred strains. HS have been used to perform genome-wide association studies (GWAS) for multiple behavioral, physiological, and gene expression traits. GWAS using HS require four key steps, which we review: selection of an appropriate HS population, phenotyping, genotyping, and statistical analysis. We provide advice on the selection of an HS, comment on key issues related to phenotyping, discuss genotyping methods relevant to these populations, and describe statistical genetic analyses that are applicable to genetic analyses that use HS.

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