Nature Reviews Genetics 14, 179-190 (March 2013) | doi:10.1038/nrg3395

QSTFST comparisons: evolutionary and ecological insights from genomic heterogeneity

Tuomas Leinonen1, R. J. Scott McCairns1, Robert B. O'Hara2 & Juha Merilä1  About the authors


Comparative studies of the divergence of quantitative traits and neutral molecular markers, known as Q STF ST comparisons, provide a means for researchers to distinguish between natural selection and genetic drift as causes of population differentiation in complex polygenic traits. The use of Q STF ST comparisons has increased rapidly in the last few years, highlighting the utility of this approach for addressing a wide range of questions that are relevant to evolutionary and ecological genetics. These studies have also provided lessons for the design of future Q STF ST comparisons. Methods based on the Q STF ST approach could also be used to analyse various types of 'omics' data in new and revealing ways.

Author affiliations

  1. Ecological Genetics Research Unit, Department of Biosciences, PO Box 65, FI-00014 University of Helsinki, Finland.
  2. Biodiversity and Climate Research Centre, D-60325 Frankfurt, Germany.

Correspondence to: Juha Merilä1 Email:

Published online 5 February 2013