Footprints in time: Comparative quantitative trait loci mapping of the pitcher-plant mosquito, Wyeomyia smithii

William E. Bradshaw, Kevin J. Emerson, Julian M. Catchen, William A. Cresko, Christina M. Holzapfel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Identifying regions of the genome contributing to phenotypic evolution often involves genetic mapping of quantitative traits. The focus then turns to identifying regions of 'major' effect, overlooking the observation that traits of ecological or evolutionary relevance usually involve many genes whose individual effects are small but whose cumulative effect is large. Herein, we use the power of fully interfertile natural populations of a single species of mosquito to develop three quantitative trait loci (QTL) maps: one between two post-glacially diverged populations and two between a more ancient and a post-glacial population. All demonstrate that photoperiodic response is genetically a highly complex trait. Furthermore, we show that marker regressions identify apparently 'non-significant' regions of the genome not identified by composite interval mapping, that the perception of the genetic basis of adaptive evolution is crucially dependent upon genetic background and that the genetic basis for adaptive evolution of photoperiodic response is highly variable within contemporary populations as well as between anciently diverged populations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4551-4558
Number of pages8
JournalProceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences
Issue number1747
StatePublished - 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • Genomics
  • Geological time
  • Marker regression
  • Photoperiodism
  • QTL map
  • RAD-seq

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • General Immunology and Microbiology
  • General Environmental Science
  • General Agricultural and Biological Sciences


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