Polygenic Adaptation: Integrating Population Genetics and Gene Regulatory Networks

The adaptation of populations to local environments often relies on the selection of optimal values for polygenic traits. Here, we first summarize the results obtained from different quantitative genetics and population genetics models, about the genetic architecture of polygenic traits and their response to directional selection. We then highlight the contribution of systems biology to the understanding of the molecular bases of polygenic traits and the evolution of gene regulatory networks involved in these traits. Finally, we discuss the need for a unifying framework merging the fields of population genetics, quantitative genetics and systems biology to better understand the molecular bases of polygenic traits adaptation.

Trends In Genetics