Quantitative Genetics


Quantitative genetics is the assessment of variation due to genetic and environmental factors. It can be used to identify the sources of similarity between relatives.

Keywords: heritability; genetic model; environment; linkage; association; twins

Figure 1.

Deviations d and h shown as departures from population mean μ for genotypes AA, Aa and aa at a quantitative genetic locus. (Adapted from Mather and Jinks, , p. 32.)

Figure 2.

Number of alleles identical‐by‐descent in all possible pairs of siblings resulting from a mating between a mother with genotype AB and a father with genotype CD.

Figure 3.

Model for data from monozygotic (MZ) or dizygotic (DZ) twins reared together. Additive polygenic effects (Ai), common environment effects (Ci) and specific (Ei) environment latent variables cause variation in the phenotypes (Pi) in this linear additive structural equation model.



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Further Reading

Eaves LJ, Last K, Young PA and Martin NG (1978) Model fitting approaches to the analysis of human behavior. Heredity 41: 249–320.

Eaves LJ, Neale MC and Maes HH (1996) Multivariate multipoint linkage analysis of quantitative trait loci. Behavior Genetics 26: 519–526.

Fulker DW and Cherny SS (1996) An improved multipoint sib‐pair analysis of quantitative traits. Behavior Genetics 26: 527–532.

Jinks JL and Fulker DW (1970) Comparison of the biometrical genetical, MAVA, and classical approaches to the analysis of human behavior. Psychological Bulletin 73: 311–349.

Lynch M and Walsh B (1998) Genetics and Analysis of Quantitative Traits. Sunderland, MA: Sinauer.

Maes HH, Neale MC, Martin NG, Heath AC and Eaves L (1999) Religious attendance and the frequency of alcohol use: same genes or same environments: a bivariate extended twin kinship model. Twin Research 2: 169–179.

Martin N, Boomsma and Machin G (1997) A twin‐pronged attack on complex traits. Nature Genetics 17: 387–391.

Ott J (1999) Analysis of Human Genetic Linkage. 3rd edn Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins University Press.

Plomin R, De Fries J, McClearn J and McGuffin P (2000) Behavioral Genetics. New York, NY: WH Freeman.

Rowe DC (1994) The Limits of Family Influence: Genes, Experience, and Behavior. New York, NY: Guilford Press.

Spector T, Snieder H and MacGregor A (eds.) (1999) Advances in Twin and Sib Pair Analysis. London, UK: Greenwich Medical Media.

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Neale, Michael C(Jul 2006) Quantitative Genetics. In: eLS. John Wiley & Sons Ltd, Chichester. http://www.els.net [doi: 10.1038/npg.els.0005408]