This article describes QTL analyses for solitary (Nasonia, a parasitoid wasp) and social hymenopteran species (honeybee and bumblebee). These exemplar QTL analyses determined the genetic basis of morphological, behavioral, and colony level traits. Mapping populations were derived either from lab crosses between highly inbred strains (Nasonia spp.), lab crosses of individuals caught in the field (bumblebees), or offspring from artificially inseminated queens from a managed honeybee population. Using these examples, we demonstrate the importance of a clear understanding of the life history, breeding, and reproductive system of the organism used for a QTL analysis, e.g., haplo-diploidy or reproductive division of labor in social insects. We lead the reader step by step through the process of multiple QTL analyses and describe potential problems and roadblocks (e.g., data handling, statistical, and biological problems) that can obscure or severely impair the results of a QTL study and how to detect and deal with those problems.In particular, we provide a way to empirically estimate the Beavis effect for a larger QTL mapping population and how to estimate a more accurate value of the explained phenotypic variance of each detected QTL using a resampling procedure.
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