Estimation of genetic effects and genotype-phenotype maps

Evol Bioinform Online. 2008 Jun 28;4:225-35. doi: 10.4137/ebo.s756.


Determining the genetic architecture of complex traits is a necessary step to understand phenotypic changes in natural, experimental and domestic populations. However, this is still a major challenge for modern genetics, since the estimation of genetic effects tends to be complicated by genetic interactions, which lead to changes in the effect of allelic substitutions depending on the genetic background. Recent progress in statistical tools aiming to describe and quantify genetic effects meaningfully improves the efficiency and the availability of genotype-to-phenotype mapping methods. In this contribution, we facilitate the practical use of the recently published 'NOIA' quantitative framework by providing an implementation of linear and multilinear regressions, change of reference operation and genotype-to-phenotype mapping in a package ('noia') for the software R, and we discuss theoretical and practical benefits evolutionary and quantitative geneticists may find in using proper modeling strategies to quantify the effects of genes.