Trudy F. C. Mackay

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In a recent study, we reported that the combined average mutation rate of 10 di-, 6 tri-, and 8 tetranucleotide repeats in Drosophila melanogaster was 6.3 x 10(-6) mutations per locus per generation, a rate substantially below that of microsatellite repeat units in mammals studied to date (range = 10(-2)-10(-5) per locus per generation). To obtain a more(More)
Analysis of variation at microsatellite DNA loci is widely used in studies of parentage1, linkage2 and evolutionary history3–5. The utility of microsatel I ites is primarily due to high levels of allelic diversity, believed to reflect mutation rates orders of magnitude higher than base pair substitutions at single-copy genes. For humans6–14, mice15–16,(More)
The role of epistasis in the genetic architecture of quantitative traits is controversial, despite the biological plausibility that nonlinear molecular interactions underpin the genotype–phenotype map. This controversy arises because most genetic variation for quantitative traits is additive. However, additive variance is consistent with pervasive(More)
Quantitative traits are shaped by networks of pleiotropic genes . To understand the mechanisms that maintain genetic variation for quantitative traits in natural populations and to predict responses to artificial and natural selection, we must evaluate pleiotropic effects of underlying quantitative trait genes and define functional allelic variation at the(More)
BACKGROUND The identification of the function of all genes that contribute to specific biological processes and complex traits is one of the major challenges in the postgenomic era. One approach is to employ forward genetic screens in genetically tractable model organisms. In Drosophila melanogaster, P element-mediated insertional mutagenesis is a versatile(More)
A central question in biology is how genes control the expression of quantitative variation. We used statistical methods to estimate genetic variation in eight Arabidopsis thaliana floral characters (fresh flower mass, petal length, petal width, sepal length, sepal width, long stamen length, short stamen length, and pistil length) in a cosmopolitan sample(More)
Molecular biologists are rapidly characterizing the genetic basis of flowering in model species such as Arabidopsis thaliana. However, it is not clear how the developmental pathways identified in controlled environments contribute to variation in reproductive timing in natural ecological settings. Here we report the first study of quantitative trait loci(More)
Variation in inflorescence development patterns is a central factor in the evolutionary ecology of plants. The genetic architectures of 13 traits associated with inflorescence developmental timing, architecture, rosette morphology, and fitness were investigated in Arabidopsis thaliana, a model plant system. There is substantial naturally occurring genetic(More)
Genetic variation for quantitative traits is often greater than that expected to be maintained by mutation in the face of purifying natural selection. One possible explanation for this observed variation is the action of heterogeneous natural selection in the wild. Here we report that selection on quantitative trait loci (QTL) for fitness traits in the(More)
It is recognized that a stable number of transposable element (TE) copies per genome is maintained in natural populations of D. melanogaster as a result of the dynamic equilibrium between transposition to new sites and natural selection eliminating copies. The force of natural selection opposing TE multiplication is partly relaxed in inbred laboratory lines(More)