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Genetics. 1990 Feb;124(2):407-15.

Statistical genetics of an annual plant, Impatiens capensis. I. Genetic basis of quantitative variation.

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  • 1Division of Biological Sciences, University of Montana, Missoula 59812.


Analysis of quantitative genetics in natural populations has been hindered by computational and methodological problems in statistical analysis. We developed and validated a jackknife procedure to test for existence of broad sense heritabilities and dominance or maternal effects influencing quantitative characters in Impatiens capensis. Early life cycle characters showed evidence of dominance and/or maternal effects, while later characters exhibited predominantly environmental variation. Monte Carlo simulations demonstrate that these jackknife tests of variance components are extremely robust to heterogeneous error variances. Statistical methods from human genetics provide evidence for either a major locus influencing germination date, or genes that affect phenotypic variability per se. We urge explicit consideration of statistical behavior of estimation and testing procedures for proper biological interpretation of statistical results.

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