The rat has been widely used as a disease model in a laboratory setting, resulting in an abundance of genetic and phenotype data from a wide variety of studies. This data can be found at the Rat Genome Database (RGD; http://rgd.mcw.edu/), which provides a platform for researchers interested in linking genomic variations to phenotypes. Quantitative Trait Loci (QTLs) form one of the earliest and core datasets, allowing researchers to identify loci harboring genes associated with disease. These QTLs are not only important for those using the rat to identify genes and regions associated with disease, but also for cross-organism analyses of syntenic regions on the mouse and the human genomes to identify potential regions for study in these organisms. Currently, RGD has data on more than 1900 rat QTLs, that include details about the methods and animals used to determine the respective QTL along with the genomic positions and markers that define the region. RGD also curates human QTLs (more than 1900) and houses more than 4000 mouse QTLs (imported from Mouse Genome Informatics). Multiple ontologies are used to standardize traits, phenotypes, diseases and experimental methods to facilitate queries, analyses and cross-organism comparisons. QTLs are visualized in tools such as GBrowse and GViewer, with additional tools for analysis of gene sets within QTL regions. The QTL data at RGD provides valuable information for the study of mapped phenotypes and identification of candidate genes for disease associations.
- Rat Genome Database
- quantitative trait loci
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