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BB50210: Evolutionary quantitative genetics

Follow this link for further information on academic years Academic Year: 2018/9
Further information on owning departmentsOwning Department/School: Department of Biology & Biochemistry
Further information on credits Credits: 6      [equivalent to 12 CATS credits]
Further information on notional study hours Notional Study Hours: 120
Further information on unit levels Level: Masters UG & PG (FHEQ level 7)
Further information on teaching periods Period:
Semester 1
Further information on unit assessment Assessment Summary: CW 40%, EX 60%
Further information on unit assessment Assessment Detail:
  • Coursework (CW 40%)
  • Exam (EX 60%)
Further information on supplementary assessment Supplementary Assessment:
Re-assessment Essay (where allowed by programme regulations)
Further information on requisites Requisites: Before taking this module you must take BB20040 or have equivalent subject knowledge.
Further information on descriptions Description: Aims:
Most traits of economic importance and evolutionary relevance vary quantitatively (e.g., morphological, behavioural and physiological traits; life history attributes and components of fitness; disease susceptibility, and resistance to pathogens). These quantitative traits have a complex genetic basis, being influenced by multiple genetic and environmental factors. Consequently, traditional Mendelian genetics is not sufficient to understand the genetic basis and evolution of these traits. This course aims for students to develop an understanding of the current concepts in quantitative genetics, and to explore the relationship between molecular and phenotypic variation (i.e. the "genotype - phenotype relationship"). It will also demonstrate and discuss modern applications of quantitative genetics such as methods for identifying the genetic basis of quantitative traits (QTL analysis), applications in plant breeding, conservation genetics, etc.

Learning Outcomes:
After taking this course the student should be able to:
* Estimate heritability and its significance in important concepts, including disease likelihood in families, and selective breeding for trait improvement in plants and animals.
* Evaluate the application of quantitative genetic concepts and techniques to applied problems, including conservation programmes.
* Critically evaluate the appropriate literature on the genetic basis and evolvability of traits that vary quantitatively.
* Determine the best experimental approach to study quantitative traits and appropriate techniques to analyze traits that vary quantitatively.
* Present oral and written reports that summarise the current concepts of Quantitative genetics and its application.

Learning and studying T/F/A, Written communication T/F/A, Oral communication T/F/A, Information handling & retrieval T/F/A, Working independently T/F.


* Introduction to the current concepts in quantitative genetics, including patterns of genetic effects (additive, dominance), components of genetic variation, genetic relationship between traits (pleiotropy, genetic covariances and correlations), resemblance of relatives, genotype-by-environment interactions and the measurement of selection.
* The use of these concepts to understanding the evolutionary process through the response to artificial and natural selection.
* Demonstration and discussion of modern applications of quantitative genetic such as methods for identifying the genetic basis of quantitative traits (QTL analysis and genome-wide association studies), and applications of quantitative genetics in evolution, behaviour, breeding and conservation.
Further information on programme availabilityProgramme availability:

BB50210 is Optional on the following programmes:

Department of Biology & Biochemistry