Oct 7, 2015

Estimating Trait Heritability in Highly Fecund Species

G3 : Genes - Genomes - Genetics
Sarah W DaviesMikhail V Matz


Increasingly, researchers are interested in estimating the heritability of traits for nonmodel organisms. However, estimating the heritability of these traits presents both experimental and statistical challenges, which typically arise from logistical difficulties associated with rearing large numbers of families independently in the field, a lack of known pedigree, the need to account for group or batch effects, etc. Here we develop both an empirical and computational methodology for estimating the narrow-sense heritability of traits for highly fecund species. Our experimental approach controls for undesirable culturing effects while minimizing culture numbers, increasing feasibility in the field. Our statistical approach accounts for known issues with model-selection by using a permutation test to calculate significance values and includes both fitting and power calculation methods. We further demonstrate that even with moderately high sample-sizes, the p-values derived from asymptotic properties of the likelihood ratio test are overly conservative, thus reducing statistical power. We illustrate our methodology by estimating the narrow-sense heritability for larval settlement, a key life-history trait, in the reef-building co...Continue Reading

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Mentioned in this Paper

In Silico
Quantitative Trait Loci
Laboratory Procedures
Research Personnel
Genetic Pedigree
Montastraea faveolata
Quantitative Trait, Heritable
Inheritance Patterns

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