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quantitative genetics

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BIL 116

Chapter 9 Quantitative GeneticsQuantitative Genetics the branch of evolutionary biology that provides tools for analyzing the evolution of multilocus traits 91 The Nature of Quantitative TraitsQualitative Traits characteristics that we can assign to individuals by just looking at them or perhaps by conducting a simple genetic test Traits with discrete phenotypes are special examples most traits in most organisms show continuous variation oSuch as height athletic ability and intelligenceoAlso beak length in soapberry bugs and bill depth in medium ground finches Traits with continuous variation cannot assign individuals to discrete phenotypic categories by simple inspectionoMeasurements must be taken oCharacters with continuously distributed phenotypes are called quantitative traits Are determined by the combined influence ofGenotype at many different lociThe environment Quantitative traits are traits for which the distribution of phenotypes is continuous rather than discrete Quantitative traits are consistent with Mendelian genetics They are influenced by the combined effects of the genotype at many loci Quantitative traits are also influenced by the environment 93 Measuring Heritable VariationBasic tenets of Darwins theory of evolution by natural selection oIf there is heritable variation among the individuals in a population and if there are differences in survival andor reproductive success among the variants then the population will evolve Quantitative genetics includes tools to measure heritable variation tools for measuring differences in survival andor reproductive success and tools for predicting the evolutionary response to selection Quantitative genetics allows us to analyze evolution by natural selection in traits controlled by many loci The first step in a quantitative genetic analysis is to determine the extent to which the trait in question is heritable That is we must partition the total phenotypic variation V into a component due to genetic pvariation V and a component due to environmental variation VGEHeritability fraction of the total variation in a trait that is due
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