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PLoS Genet. 2012;8(8):e1002839. doi: 10.1371/journal.pgen.1002839. Epub 2012 Aug 2.

Inheritance beyond plain heritability: variance-controlling genes in Arabidopsis thaliana.

Author information

1
Department of Cell and Molecular Biology, Uppsala University, Uppsala, Sweden.

Abstract

The phenotypic effect of a gene is normally described by the mean-difference between alternative genotypes. A gene may, however, also influence the phenotype by causing a difference in variance between genotypes. Here, we reanalyze a publicly available Arabidopsis thaliana dataset [1] and show that genetic variance heterogeneity appears to be as common as normal additive effects on a genomewide scale. The study also develops theory to estimate the contributions of variance differences between genotypes to the phenotypic variance, and this is used to show that individual loci can explain more than 20% of the phenotypic variance. Two well-studied systems, cellular control of molybdenum level by the ion-transporter MOT1 and flowering-time regulation by the FRI-FLC expression network, and a novel association for Leaf serration are used to illustrate the contribution of major individual loci, expression pathways, and gene-by-environment interactions to the genetic variance heterogeneity.

PMID:
22876191
PMCID:
PMC3410891
DOI:
10.1371/journal.pgen.1002839
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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