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Nat Rev Genet. 2010 Dec;11(12):867-79. doi: 10.1038/nrg2896.

Towards identifying genes underlying ecologically relevant traits in Arabidopsis thaliana.

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Department of Ecology and Evolution, University of Chicago, Illinois 60637, USA.


A major challenge in evolutionary biology and plant breeding is to identify the genetic basis of complex quantitative traits, including those that contribute to adaptive variation. Here we review the development of new methods and resources to fine-map intraspecific genetic variation that underlies natural phenotypic variation in plants. In particular, the analysis of 107 quantitative traits reported in the first genome-wide association mapping study in Arabidopsis thaliana sets the stage for an exciting time in our understanding of plant adaptation. We also argue for the need to place phenotype-genotype association studies in an ecological context if one is to predict the evolutionary trajectories of plant species.

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