Epistasis and the Evolutionary Process

Epistasis and the Evolutionary Process

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The dominant paradigm in evolutionary genetics in this century has been additivity, or that effects of genes are independent and are summed together to produce an individual's phenotype. Over the last two decades, however, research into epistasis, or non-additive genetics, has been exploding. It has become clear that the effects of genes are rarely independent, and to reach a fuller understanding of the process of evolution, one must consider the issue of complex traits, meaning gene interactions as well as gene-environment interactions. This book will servce as a primer on no-additive evolutionary genetics, integrating the work to date on all levels of evolutionary investigation of the importance of epistasis to the evolutionary process in general. It includes an historic perspective on this emerging field, an in-depth discussion of terminology, discussions of the effects of epistasis at several different levels of biological organisation (the individual, the population, the metapopulation and the species) and combinations of theoretical and experimental approaches to analyse a single question. It will appeal to not only evolutionary biologists, but to a wide audience, including those in the medical and agricultural genetics fields.show more

Product details

  • Hardback | 344 pages
  • 167.64 x 241.3 x 27.94mm | 635.03g
  • Oxford University Press Inc
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • numerous line figures
  • 0195128060
  • 9780195128062

Review quote

"I learned a great deal from Epistasis and the Evolutionary Process, and I congratulate the editors on an excellent choice of authors. Graduate students and other scientists will find the book a very useful smorgasbord of recent research into theory and facts of epistasis. The volume does not attempt to resolve the 70-year-old controversy about the importance of epistasis and shifting balance. Instead, it shows that epistasis plays a central role in a much wider and more interesting variety of evolutionary problems than seemed possible even ten years ago."--Science"This book is important because it marks the transition form a view of epistasis fixed on past controversies to a forward-looking approach where we will have a fresh look at the issues before us and embark on an exciting and significant expansion of the purview of evolutionary theory."--Evolutionshow more

Table of contents

Introductions and Concepts; 1. Why evolutionary genetics doesn't always add up; 2. Beyond the average: The evolutionary importance of gene interactions and variability of epistatic effects; 3. Epistasis and Complex Traits; 4. Detecting epistasis among quantitative trait loci; 5. The evolution of developmental interations: Epistasis, canalization, and integration; 6. Epistasis and the maintenance of sex; 7. Genetic partners in crime: Evolution of an ultraselfish supergene that specializes in sperm sabotage; 8. Modeling gene interaction in structured populations; 9. Epistasis, linkage, and balancing selection; 10. Indirect genetic effects and gene interactions; 11. Epistasis in morphology and mating behavior; Genetic Differentiation: From Populations to Speciation; 12. Gene interactions and the origin of species; 13. Epistasis as a genetic constraint within populations and an accelerant of adaptive divergence among them; 14. The contribution of epistasis to the evolution of natural populations: A case study of an annual plant; 15. Epistasis and the evolution of genetic architectures in natural populations; 16. Inferring Epistasis in wild sunflower hybrid zones; Literature cited; Indexshow more

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