The genetic architecture of quantitative traits in plants
Quantitative traits, Genetic architecture, Omnigenic model, Infinitesimal model, Genomic selection
The last years have witnessed a series of striking conceptual advances in our understanding of the genetic architecture of quantitative traits. Most of these advances have been motivated by observations stemming from the massive genomewide association studies (GWAS) carried out in humans. In particular, GWAS have revealed that even what can be considered as simple molecular traits have a highly polygenic inheritance and that a great deal of the variance of most traits is explained by variation at sites scattered all over the genome. These results have vindicated the infinitesimal model, if not in details, certainly in spirit. They have also induced the development of new models, such as the omnigenic model, that account better for what is known on the molecular biology and genetics of complex traits. More recently, methods have also been developed to estimate the distribution of selective effects at loci controlling the variation of quantitative traits. The aim of the present session is to give an overview of the impact of these advances on our understanding of the genetic architecture of quantitative traits in plants.