Replicated analysis of the genetic architecture of quantitative traits in two wild great tit populations

Santure, Anna W., Poissant, Jocelyn, De Cauwer, Isabelle, Van Oers, Kees, Robinson, Matthew R., Quinn, John L., Groenen, Martien A.M., Visser, Marcel E., Sheldon, Ben C. and Slate, Jon (2015) Replicated analysis of the genetic architecture of quantitative traits in two wild great tit populations. Molecular Ecology, 24 24: 6148-6162. doi:10.1111/mec.13452

Author Santure, Anna W.
Poissant, Jocelyn
De Cauwer, Isabelle
Van Oers, Kees
Robinson, Matthew R.
Quinn, John L.
Groenen, Martien A.M.
Visser, Marcel E.
Sheldon, Ben C.
Slate, Jon
Title Replicated analysis of the genetic architecture of quantitative traits in two wild great tit populations
Journal name Molecular Ecology   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1365-294X
Publication date 2015-12
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1111/mec.13452
Open Access Status DOI
Volume 24
Issue 24
Start page 6148
End page 6162
Total pages 15
Place of publication Chichester, West Sussex, United Kingdom
Publisher Blackwell Publishing
Collection year 2016
Language eng
Formatted abstract
Currently, there is much debate on the genetic architecture of quantitative traits in wild populations. Is trait variation influenced by many genes of small effect or by a few genes of major effect? Where is additive genetic variation located in the genome? Do the same loci cause similar phenotypic variation in different populations? Great tits (Parus major) have been studied extensively in long-term studies across Europe and consequently are considered an ecological ‘model organism’. Recently, genomic resources have been developed for the great tit, including a custom SNP chip and genetic linkage map. In this study, we used a suite of approaches to investigate the genetic architecture of eight quantitative traits in two long-term study populations of great tits—one in the Netherlands and the other in the United Kingdom. Overall, we found little evidence for the presence of genes of large effects in either population. Instead, traits appeared to be influenced by many genes of small effect, with conservative estimates of the number of contributing loci ranging from 31 to 310. Despite concordance between population-specific heritabilities, we found no evidence for the presence of loci having similar effects in both populations. While population-specific genetic architectures are possible, an undetected shared architecture cannot be rejected because of limited power to map loci of small and moderate effects. This study is one of few examples of genetic architecture analysis in replicated wild populations and highlights some of the challenges and limitations researchers will face when attempting similar molecular quantitative genetic studies in free-living populations.
Keyword Chromosome partitioning
Genome-wide association
QTL mapping
Quantitative genetics
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Queensland Brain Institute Publications
Official 2016 Collection
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 1 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
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