Change and maintenance of variation in quantitative traits in the context of the Price equation

Xu-Sheng Zhang, William G. Hill

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The Price equation is a general description of evolutionary change in any character from one generation to the next due to natural selection and other forces such as mutation and recombination. Recently it has been widely utilised in many fields including quantitative genetics, but these applications have focused mainly on the response to selection in the mean of characters. Many different and, in some cases, conflicting models have been investigated by quantitative geneticists to examine the change and maintenance of both genetic and environmental variance of quantitative traits under selection and other forces. In this study, we use the Price equation to derive many such well-known results for the dynamics and equilibria of variances in a straightforward way and to develop them further.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)14-22
Number of pages9
JournalTheoretical population biology
Issue number1
Early online date15 Oct 2009
Publication statusPublished - 28 Feb 2010


  • Environmental variance
  • Epistasis
  • Genetic variance
  • Genotype-environment interaction
  • Mutation
  • Natural selection

Cite this