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Summary GEN-30806

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  • 1 Variability and its measurements

  • What does the process of natural selection involve?
    Differences in survival or fertility, related to the trait values of individuals
  • How do genetic differences contribute to variation in a trait?
    The parents with higher fitness values will have offspring that resemble them to some extent
  • What happens when differences among individuals in a trait are not transmitted to their offspring?
    The offspring of the individuals with the highest fitness will be similar to the offspring of the parents taken randomly from the population
  • 1.1 Classical and quantitative genetic studies of variability

  • What is discrete polymorphisms?
    Has also been discovered by microscopic and biochemical studies of organisms
    • Chromosomal rearrangements are an important category of cryptic polymorphism  
  • Describe quantitative variability?
    Unlike the discrete polymorphisms, quantitative traits, such as height differences among humans, have a roughly continuous distribution of values
  • What are metrical traits?
    Traits that can be measured on a continuous scale, and generally have a bell-shaped probability distribution approximated by the normal distribution
  • What are meristic characters?
    Characters with several discrete trait categories
    - These often have a unimodal distribution, with the intermediate classes being the most frequent
  • What are threshold traits?
    Traits with two categories, where the expression of one of the two alternatives is determined by whether or not a threshold is an underlying continuously distributed trait is exceeded
  • Selection on a trait in genetically variable population is....
    Usually highly effective, and can rapidly change its mean value
  • What is done with selection experiments on inbred lines?
    - Many generations of matings between close relatives. All individuals from the same inbred line will be genetically nearly identical and will be homozygous for most loci. 
    - Alternatively: In some organisms, genetic identity can be achieved by clonal propagation
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