Linkage mapping reveals loci that underlie differences in Caenorhabditis elegans growth

Joy Nyaanga, Erik C. Andersen*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Growth rate and body size are complex traits that contribute to the fitness of organisms. The identification of loci that underlie differences in these traits provides insights into the genetic contributions to development. Leveraging Caenorhabditis elegans as a tractable metazoan model for quantitative genetics, we can identify genomic regions that underlie differences in growth. We measured postembryonic growth of the laboratory-adapted wild-type strain (N2) and a wild strain from Hawaii (CB4856) and found differences in body size. Using linkage mapping, we identified three distinct quantitative trait loci (QTL) on chromosomes IV, V, and X that are associated with variation in body growth. We further examined these growth-associated quantitative trait loci using chromosome substitution strains and near-isogenic lines and validated the chromosome X quantitative trait loci. In addition, we generated a list of candidate genes for the chromosome X quantitative trait loci. These genes could potentially contribute to differences in animal growth and should be evaluated in subsequent studies. Our work reveals the genetic architecture underlying animal growth variation and highlights the genetic complexity of growth in Caenorhabditis elegans natural populations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberjkac207
JournalG3: Genes, Genomes, Genetics
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2022


  • Caenorhabditis elegans
  • QTL
  • developmental growth
  • linkage mapping

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics
  • Genetics(clinical)


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