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Quantitative Genetics in the Wild$
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Anne Charmantier, Dany Garant, and Loeske E. B. Kruuk

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780199674237

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: August 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199674237.001.0001

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Molecular quantitative genetics

Molecular quantitative genetics

(p.209) Chapter 13 Molecular quantitative genetics
Quantitative Genetics in the Wild

Henrik Jensen

Marta Szulkin

Jon Slate

Oxford University Press

Recent development of high-throughput genomics tools has made it possible and affordable to examine the molecular basis of variation in quantitative traits in studies of non-model species in the wild. High-density single nucleotide polymorphism data and genome sequences provide promising methodological advances complementing and strengthening traditional quantitative genetic analyses from long-term pedigrees. This chapter, discusses how high-density genomic data can be used to determine the actual or realised genetic relationship between relatives, which then can be accounted for in further analyses to improve estimates of quantitative genetic parameters, perhaps even without the need to construct a pedigree. Furthermore, this chapter suggests how combining long-term field data with high-density genomic data, to carry out genome-wide association studies or genomic predictions of phenotypes, can provide important insight into the genetic architecture and evolutionary dynamics of fitness-related traits. Empirical results thus far provide good support for the notion that most quantitative genetic traits studied in wild populations have a highly polygenic basis; a key assumption of quantitative genetic analyses. This chapter also discusses how high-density genomic data can be used to identify past signatures of selection in genetic data that can be further compared to loci currently responsible for variation in individual fitness. Finally, this chapter presents some important issues to consider when sampling, storing and preparing DNA for high-throughput genomics analyses. The application of high-throughput genomics tools in quantitative genetic studies of non-model species in the wild shows great promise to increase understanding of ecological and evolutionary processes in natural populations.

Keywords:   genome-wide association studies, single nucleotide polymorphism, genomic prediction, signatures of selection, genome sequences

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