Quantitative Trait Dissection

  • David B. Neale
  • Nicholas C. Wheeler


The inheritance of phenotypes (traits) in any organism can generally be classified in either of two ways: (1) those inherited by a single gene and (2) those inherited from multiple genes. Multiple terms have been used to describe these two conditions. For single-gene traits, qualitative, monogenic, and Mendelian are used, while traits controlled by multiple genes are referred to as quantitative, polygenic, or complex. In forest genetics, qualitative and quantitative are most often used (White et al. 2007b) and will be generally used in this chapter. In conifers, both qualitative and quantitative inheritance of traits are observed, but by far most traits of interest are quantitatively inherited. For example, traits related to yield, wood properties, and abiotic adaptation are just about always highly quantitative. There are far fewer examples of qualitatively inherited traits, one of the most notable being resistance to white pine blister rust in several species of Pinus subgenus Strobus (Chap.  14).


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • David B. Neale
    • 1
  • Nicholas C. Wheeler
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Plant SciencesUniversity of California, DavisDavisUSA
  2. 2.ConsultantCentraliaUSA

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