Title: "QTL in rainbow trout: dissecting the genetic architecture of complex life history traits"
Speaker: Dr. Krista Nichols, Departments of Biological Sciences & Forestry and Natural Resources, Purdue University
Place: Electrical Engineering (EE) 270; January 30, 2007; Tuesday, 4:30pm


Understanding the genetic basis of complex phenotypes associated with an individual's lifetime reproductive fitness is the subject of many evolutionary quantitative genetic research programs. What are the genes underlying complex life history traits; how have these traits evolved over time; and what amount of genetic variation exists for further evolution? Quantitative trait loci analyses are an effective means whereby major genome regions underlying complex phenotypes can be revealed. I will present results from our ongoing research in dissecting the genetic architecture of divergent traits in Oncorhynchus mykiss, rainbow and steelhead trout. Most notably different among rainbow and steelhead trout studied herein, are differences in development rate, and the propensity to migrate to the ocean. We have identified major genome regions associated with each of these traits, and will use this information to further dissect the genes and evolutionary forces shaping variation in these genes. For development rate, I will discuss our work at revealing whether major and minor QTL are influenced by maternal cytoplasmic environmental effects. For migration propensity, I will discuss our preliminary results and the special challenges imposed for QTL mapping a very complex phenotype that is temporally variable among individuals. Combining QTL analyses with other genomic tools such as expression array and population genomic studies will further enable us to explore the genetic and evolutionary basis of divergent life history types in this and closely related species.

Nichols, K.M., K. Broman, K. Sundin, J. Young, P. Wheeler, and G.H. Thorgaard. Quantitative trait loci by maternal environment interaction for development rate in rainbow trout. Genetics. 175:335-347 (January 2007)

Vasemagi, A. & Primmer, C.R. Challenges for identifying functionally important genetic variation: the promise of combining complementary research strategies. Molecular Ecology 14, 3623-3642 (2005).

Click here for a full schedule of BIOINFORMATICS SEMINARS, past and present.