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A quantitative trait locus (QTL) is a section of DNA (the locus) which correlates with variation in a phenotype (the quantitative trait). QTLs are mapped by identifying which molecular markers (such as SNPs or AFLPs) correlate with an observed trait. This is often an early step in identifying and sequencing the actual genes that cause the trait variation. QTL) is a region of DNA which is associated with a particular phenotypic trait, which varies in degree and which can be attributed to polygenic effects.