In model organisms, chemical mutagenesis provides a powerful alternative to natural, polygenic variation (for example, quantitative trait loci (QTLs)) for identifying functional pathways and complex disease genes. Despite recent progress in QTLs, we expect that mutagenesis will ultimately prove more effective because the prospects of gene identification are high and every gene affecting a trait is potentially a target.
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We thank G. Churchill, J. Naggert and J. Schimenti for comments on this manuscript. This work was supported by NIH grants HL58982, CA75056 and RR12305 to J.H.N.; NS31348, DC03611, NS40246 to W.N.F.; by a Cancer Center Support grant CA34196 to The Jackson Laboratory; by a grant from the Keck Foundation to the Department of Genetics, Case Western Reserve University; and by a Howard Hughes Medical Institute grant to the Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine.
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Nadeau, J., Frankel, W. The roads from phenotypic variation to gene discovery: mutagenesis versus QTLs. Nat Genet 25, 381–384 (2000). https://doi.org/10.1038/78051
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