Identifying the Genomic Basis Underlying Phenotypic Variation
- LAST MODIFIED: 26 April 2018
- DOI: 10.1093/obo/9780199941728-0106
- LAST MODIFIED: 26 April 2018
- DOI: 10.1093/obo/9780199941728-0106
Since the Modern Synthesis and the identification of the structure of DNA, evolutionary biologists have sought to determine the DNA changes that result in divergent phenotypes on which natural selection can act. In particular, we aim to understand (i) the number and effect size of genes, (ii) the interaction between genetic loci (G×G, or epistasis) and between genes and the environment (G×E), and (iii) the molecular nature of genetic variations that underlie phenotypic variation. With this knowledge, we can then ask myriad questions related to the origin and maintenance of biodiversity including if similar genes underlie convergent phenotypes, if certain classes of genes or changes regulate phenotypic divergence, and what are the genetic origins of novel traits. Here, we define the genomic basis of variation as an unbiased examination of the genome itself. Forward genetics, whereby researchers begin with phenotypic variation and work toward the underlying genotypic variation, exemplifies such an approach. We do not include pure transcriptomics studies in our survey as this rich body of literature can stand on its own. Similarly, we exclude studies that utilize only a candidate gene approach, as this is not an unbiased design. Genome editing techniques such as the CRISPR/Cas9 system have been fruitful in model and non-model organisms alike in linking genotype to phenotype. However, a review of such reverse genetic techniques and work is beyond our focus, which is on forward genetic approaches. As we highlight, gene editing, transcriptomic, and candidate gene approaches can be used to corroborate genomic data.
As technologies improve and genomic methods become accessible to a wider range of investigators, the list of applicable journals has become much larger. As such, it is not practical or possible to list all journals that have papers on this topic. We therefore only give a small sample of example journals. Highly integrated studies including detailed functional analysis of genetic changes, are often published in journals such as Nature, Science, and Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA. PLoS Genetics and Genetics publish studies that are focused on genetic analysis of evolutionarily relevant phenotypes. Genetic/genomic analyses are also appearing more frequently in leading journals in evolution including Evolution, Journal of Evolutionary Biology, and Molecular Biology and Evolution.
One of the leading journals in evolutionary biology, this journal is published by the Society for the Study of Evolution and includes those studies focused on the genetic basis of evolution.
The flagship journal for the Genetics Society of America, publishing papers and methodology in the genetics and genomics of both model and non-model organisms.
Journal of Evolutionary Biology. 1988–.
Published by the European Society for Evolutionary Biology, this journal integrates all areas of evolutionary biology.
Molecular Biology and Evolution. 1983–.
The journal of the Society of Molecular Biology and Evolution specifically focused on the interface between molecules (e.g., genes) and evolution, publishing methods, results, and theory.
Publishes high-impact research and commentary in genetics and evolutionary biology that is of broad interest to the scientific community.
PLoS Genetics. 2005–.
One of the leading journals in genetics and genomics, including studies focused on the basis of evolutionarily relevant phenotypes.
PNAS is a comprehensive multidisciplinary journal including studies in evolutionary biology and genetics.
The flagship journal of the American Association for the Advancement of Science publishes high impact work in evolutionary biology that is of broad interest to the scientific community.
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content on this page. Please subscribe or login.
- Adaptive Radiation
- Ancient DNA
- Behavioral Ecology
- Canalization and Robustness
- Character Displacement
- Cognition, Evolution of
- Constraints, Evolutionary
- Contemporary Evolution
- Convergent Evolution
- Cooperation and Conflict: Microbes to Humans
- Cooperative Breeding in Insects and Vertebrates
- Cryptic Female Choice
- Darwin, Charles
- Disease Virulence, Evolution of
- Ecological Speciation
- Epigenetics and Behavior
- Eusocial Insects as a Model for Understanding Altruism, Co...
- Evidence of Evolution, The
- Evolution and Development: Genes and Mutations Underlying ...
- Evolution, Cultural
- Evolution of Antibiotic Resistance
- Evolution of New Genes
- Evolution of Plant Mating Systems
- Evolution of Specialization
- Evolutionary Biology of Aging
- Evolutionary Biomechanics
- Evolutionary Computation
- Evolutionary Ecology of Communities
- Experimental Evolution
- Field Studies of Natural Selection
- Founder Effect Speciation
- Frequency-Dependent Selection
- Fungi, Evolution of
- Gene Duplication
- Gene Expression, Evolution of
- Gene Flow
- Genetics, Ecological
- Genome Evolution
- Geographic Variation
- Group Selection
- History of Evolutionary Thought, 1860–1925
- History of Evolutionary Thought before Darwin
- History of Evolutionary Thought Since 1930
- Human Behavioral Ecology
- Human Evolution
- Hybrid Speciation
- Hybrid Zones
- Identifying the Genomic Basis Underlying Phenotypic Variat...
- Inbreeding and Inbreeding Depression
- Inclusive Fitness
- Innovation, Evolutionary
- Kin Selection
- Land Plants, Evolution of
- Landscape Genetics
- Landscapes, Adaptive
- Language, Evolution of
- Macroevolutionary Rates
- Male-Male Competition
- Mass Extinction
- Mate Choice
- Maternal Effects
- Medicine, Evolutionary
- Meiotic Drive
- Modern Synthesis, The
- Molecular Clocks
- Molecular Phylogenetics
- Mutualism, Evolution of
- Natural Selection in Human Populations
- Natural Selection in the Genome, Detecting
- Neutral Theory
- New Zealand, Evolutionary Biogeography of
- Niche Construction
- Niche Evolution
- Origin and Early Evolution of Animals
- Origin of Eukaryotes
- Origin of Life, The
- Paradox of Sex
- Parental Care, Evolution of
- Personality Differences, Evolution of
- Phenotypic Plasticity
- Phylogenetic Comparative Methods and Tests of Macroevoluti...
- Phylogenetic Trees, Interpretation of
- Polyploid Speciation
- Population Genetics
- Population Structure
- Psychology, Evolutionary
- Punctuated Equilibria
- Quantitative Genetic Variation and Heritability
- Reproductive Proteins, Evolution of
- Selection, Directional
- Selection, Disruptive
- Selection Gradients
- Selection, Natural
- Selection, Sexual
- Selfish Genes
- Sexual Conflict
- Sexual Selection and Speciation
- Sexual Size Dimorphism
- Speciation Genetics and Genomics
- Speciation, Sympatric
- Species Concepts
- Sperm Competition
- Systems Biology
- Taxonomy and Classification
- Tetrapod Evolution
- Trends, Evolutionary
- Wallace, Alfred Russel