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Genetica. 2005 Feb;123(1-2):197-204.

Quantitative trait loci and the study of plant domestication.

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  • 1Department of Genetics, University of Georgia, Athens, GA 30602, USA.


Plant domestication ranks as one of the most important developments in human history, giving human populations the potential to harness unprecedented quantities of the earth's resources. But domestication has also played a more subtle historical role as the foundation of the modern study of evolution and adaptation. Until recently, however, researchers interested in domestication were limited to studying phenotypic changes or the genetics of simple Mendelian traits, when often the characters of most interest--fruit size, yield, height, flowering time, etc.--are quantitative in nature. The goals of this paper are to review some of the recent work on the quantitative genetics of plant domestication, identify some of the common trends found in this literature, and offer some novel interpretations of the data that is currently available.

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