An online guide to quantitative genetics and the G-matrix
This website is devoted to education and research related to the G-matrix. The G-matrix, as one of the most important concepts in evolutionary quantitative genetics, plays a major role in predicting future evolutionary trajectories and in reconstructing the history of selection. To comprehend the evolution of complex traits, we need to embrace the G-matrix, and the aim of this site is to promote such understanding.
The G-matrix is a matrix of additive genetic variances and covariances. It describes to what extent traits have genetic variation and whether or not different traits are genetically correlated with one another. Genetic variance is necessary for traits to evolve, so the G-matrix tells us whether or not traits will evolve. Traits that are genetically correlated with one another don't evolve independently, so the G-matrix also describes whether or not groups of traits will evolve together. To understand the evolution of a phenotype made up of several traits, we need to understand the G-matrix. Learn more on our What is G? page.
Go to our See it Evolve page to see G-matrix simulations in action. These demonstrations show how the population mean responds to selection and how the G-matrix changes during these responses. The simulations also illustrate how the G-matrix evolves under various combinations of parameters.
Visit our Creating Simulations page to see how G-matrix simulations can be created in the C++ programming language. This work-in-progress will eventually be a step-by-step guide to simulation building.
Adam Jones, Steve Arnold, and Reinhard Bürger collaborated on the first simulation-based project addressing G-matrix evolution starting in the year 2000. Since then, they have worked together on a number of different projects with a variety of other participants. Learn more about these three scientist and the other people who have worked with them by visiting Our Research Group.
Check out the G-matrix Who's Who page to learn more about various scientists working on aspects of evolutionary quantitative genetics related to the G-matrix. If you are thinking about graduate studies in quantitative genetics, this page is a good place to start. For established scientists, here's your chance to find experts, people to invite to symposiums or to give seminars on these difficult but important topics, and potential collaborators.
If you are interested in learning about the primary literature or starting some research involving the G-matrix, we have compiled a list of some of the most important papers that introduce modern quantitative genetics and the G-matrix on our Required Reading page.
Progress in quantitative genetics has been facilitated by fantastic interactions among the scientists involved in the research. Visit our Notable G Events page to find out about past and upcoming meetings and workshops. A good way to get into quantitative genetics research would be to attend one of these events.
We have compiled a list of links to other sites that are useful for understanding the G-matrix or for data analysis. Go to our Related Websites to delve more deeply into the world of professional quantitative geneticists.
This site is the product of a collaborative study involving Oregon State University, Texas A&M University, and the University of Vienna. Creation of this website was funded by the National Science Foundation, and you can learn more about it on our About this Site page.