Data and theory point to mainly additive genetic variance for complex traits

Hill, William G., Goddard, Michael E. and Visscher, Peter M. (2008) Data and theory point to mainly additive genetic variance for complex traits. PLoS Genetics, 4 2: . doi:10.1371/journal.pgen.1000008

Author Hill, William G.
Goddard, Michael E.
Visscher, Peter M.
Title Data and theory point to mainly additive genetic variance for complex traits
Journal name PLoS Genetics   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1553-7390
Publication date 2008-02-01
Year available 2008
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1371/journal.pgen.1000008
Open Access Status DOI
Volume 4
Issue 2
Total pages 10
Place of publication San Francisco, United States
Publisher Public Library of Science
Language eng
Subject 1105 Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
1312 Molecular Biology
1311 Genetics
2716 Genetics (clinical)
1306 Cancer Research
Abstract The relative proportion of additive and non-additive variation for complex traits is important in evolutionary biology, medicine, and agriculture. We address a long-standing controversy and paradox about the contribution of non-additive genetic variation, namely that knowledge about biological pathways and gene networks imply that epistasis is important. Yet empirical data across a range of traits and species imply that most genetic variance is additive. We evaluate the evidence from empirical studies of genetic variance components and find that additive variance typically accounts for over half, and often close to 100%, of the total genetic variance. We present new theoretical results, based upon the distribution of allele frequencies under neutral and other population genetic models, that show why this is the case even if there are nonadditive effects at the level of gene action. We conclude that interactions at the level of genes are not likely to generate much interaction at the level of variance.
Keyword Genome-wide association
Quantitative traits
Population bottlenecks
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status Non-UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: ERA 2012 Admin Only
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Created: Tue, 14 Feb 2012, 00:17:52 EST by Mr Mathew Carter on behalf of School of Medicine