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Lecture 3

BIOL 375 Lecture Notes - Lecture 3: Wild Type, Quantitative Trait Locus, Vasopressin

Course Code
BIOL 375
Thomas Giardina

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Ananna Kazi
Discussion 1
1. Why was QTL mapping used in the silver fox paper?
2. What are the similarities between human and silver fox behaviors?
The Genetics of Human Social Behavior paper discusses human behavior in
different areas of life, including parenting, leadership, politics, and music. It also focuses
on different types of behavior, such as empathy, altruism, sense of equity, love, trust,
music, and economic behavior. Genes, such as the arginine vasopressin receptor and the
oxytocin receptor are responsible for social behavior in human. The genes encoding for
dopamine reward pathway, serotonergic emotional regulation, and sex hormones are
also responsible for different human behavior. The twin studies focuses on the
heritability of a phenotype and explore the concept “nature vs. nurture”. There are
different types of twin studies. QTL mapping and GWAS were used in these studies as
we learned in class.
The breeding of silver fox shows significantly different phenotypes. Selection for
tame behavior was started in Russia with farm-bred foxes that demonstrated the least
avoidance behavior towards humans. Subsequently, only the tamest individuals in each
generation have been allowed to breed, while at the same time a deliberate effort was
made to avoid inbreeding. The tame population developed relatively fast in response to
selection. In parallel with this selection for tameness, a second strain of foxes was bred
selectively to preserve wild-type ("aggressive") behavior. This aggressive strain was
developed because foxes with wild-type behavior can be difficult to handle and, under
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