New Book in the Library: Genetics and Analysis of Quantitative Traits
Michael Lynch; Bruce Walsh
Genetics and Analysis of Quantitative Traits brings together the diverse array of theoretical and empirical applications of quantitative genetics under one cover, in a way that is both comprehensive and accessible to anyone with a rudimentary understanding of statistics and genetics. What was originally envisioned as a single text has now become two, with the focus of this first book being on the basic biology and methods of analysis of quantitative characters. (The second book, Evolution and Selection of Quantitative Traits, will address the basic principles that govern the evolutionary dynamics of quantitative characters under the forces of mutation, random genetic drift, and natural and/or artificial selection, integrating the theory of evolution of such characters with existing empirical data from natural and domesticated plant and animal populations.) Written as a general text in quantitative genetics, the book will also be useful as a basic reference for the seasoned professional. Throughout, central theoretical concepts are developed from first principles. To aid the less statistically sophisticated reader, several chapters and appendices focus on the basic statistical tools needed to digest the book. Wherever possible, theoretical and analytical concepts are illustrated with empirical examples from diverse settings. Three major features of Genetics and Analysis of Quantitative Traits distinguish it from earlier work. First, it reflects the explosive influx over the past few years of quantitative-genetic thinking into evolutionary biology. Second, in animal breeding, enormous strides have been made in the development of new techniques for estimating breeding values (for the purposes of identifying elite individuals in selection programs) and for estimating variance components from samples of complex pedigrees. In this text’s last two chapters, the authors outline the basic principles of complex pedigree analysis, without getting bogged down in technical details. Third, Genetics and Analysis of Quantitative Traits provides a broad overview of the newly emerging array of techniques for quantitative-trait loci (QTL) analysis, currently one of the most active fields of quantitative-genetic research. Genetics and Analysis of Quantitative Traits contains numerous fully-worked examples and illustrations of theoretical concepts, as well as over 2,000 references with indices by subject, author, and organism. In addition, the authors maintain a World Wide Web site featuring up-to-date lists of computer programs and on-line resources, and added information on various topics presented in the text.