Review

Nature Reviews Genetics 10, 565-577 (August 2009) | doi:10.1038/nrg2612

The genetics of quantitative traits: challenges and prospects

Trudy F. C. Mackay1,2, Eric A. Stone2,3 & Julien F. Ayroles1,2  About the authors

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A major challenge in current biology is to understand the genetic basis of variation for quantitative traits. We review the principles of quantitative trait locus mapping and summarize insights about the genetic architecture of quantitative traits that have been obtained over the past decades. We are currently in the midst of a genomic revolution, which enables us to incorporate genetic variation in transcript abundance and other intermediate molecular phenotypes into a quantitative trait locus mapping framework. This systems genetics approach enables us to understand the biology inside the 'black box' that lies between genotype and phenotype in terms of causal networks of interacting genes.

Author affiliations

  1. Department of Genetics, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, North Carolina 27695, USA.
  2. W. M. Keck Center for Behavioral Biology North Carolina State University, Raleigh, North Carolina 27695, USA.
  3. Department of Statistics, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, North Carolina 27695, USA.

Correspondence to: Trudy F. C. Mackay1,2 Email: trudy_mackay@ncsu.edu

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