Order-preserving principles underlying genotype-phenotype maps ensure high additive proportions of genetic variance

A.B. Gjuvsland, J.O. Vik, J.A. Woolliams, S.W. Omholt

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In quantitative genetics, the degree of resemblance between parents and offspring is described in terms of the additive variance (V(A) ) relative to genetic (V(G) ) and phenotypic (V(P) ) variance. For populations with extreme allele frequencies, high V(A) /V(G) can be explained without considering properties of the genotype-phenotype (GP) map. We show that randomly generated GP maps in populations with intermediate allele frequencies generate far lower V(A) /V(G) values than empirically observed. The main reason is that order-breaking behaviour is ubiquitous in random GP maps. Rearrangement of genotypic values to introduce order-preservation for one or more loci causes a dramatic increase in V(A) /V(G) . This suggests the existence of order-preserving design principles in the regulatory machinery underlying GP maps. We illustrate this feature by showing how the ubiquitously observed monotonicity of dose-response relationships gives much higher V(A) /V(G) values than a unimodal dose-response relationship in simple gene network models.
Original languageUndefined/Unknown
Pages (from-to)2269-79
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Evolutionary Biology
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 2011


  • Epistasis
  • Gene Regulatory Networks
  • genetic variance
  • genotype-phenotype map
  • Monotonicity

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