The infinitesimal model with dominance
The classical infinitesimal model is a simple and robust model for the inheritance of quantitative traits. In this model, a quantitative trait is expressed as the sum of a genetic and a non-genetic (environmental) component and the genetic component of offspring traits within a family follows a normal distribution around the average of the parentsâ€™ trait values, and has a variance that is independent of the trait values of the parents. Although the trait distribution across the whole population can be far from normal, the trait distributions within families are normally distributed with a variance-covariance matrix that is determined entirely by that in the ancestral population and the probabilities of identity determined by the pedigree. Moreover, conditioning on some of the trait values within the pedigree has predictable effects on the mean and variance within and between families. In previous work, Barton et al. (2017), we showed that when trait values are determined by the sum of a large number of Mendelian factors, each of small effect, one can justify the infinitesimal model as limit of Mendelian inheritance. It was also shown that under some forms of epistasis, trait values within a family are still normally distributed.
Institute of Science and Technology Austria
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