This chapter reviews fundamental principles of evolutionary quantitative genetics. First, we cover the concept of additive genetic variance, which is the component of genetic variance that is most relevant to evolutionary responses to selection. We then consider the evolutionary response to selection (i.e. how the mean of a trait changes from one generation to the next) in response to within-generation changes in the mean. We first consider univariate selection and the evolutionary response, and then consider multivariate cases. Next, we consider the dynamics of traits controlled by many loci, and models of how both the trait mean and additive genetic variances respond to selection over multiple generations. Finally, we consider more practical aspects of evolutionary quantitative genetics, including how quantities such as additive genetic variances may be estimated, how fitness is defined in the wild, and how natural selection can be measured in nature.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationHandbook of Statistical Genomics
Number of pages35
ISBN (Electronic)9781119487845
ISBN (Print)9781119429142
StatePublished - Jul 29 2019


  • Additive genetic variances
  • Evolutionary quantitative genetics
  • Fitness functions
  • Infinitesimal allele frequency
  • Parent-offspring regressions
  • Population-level selection coefficients
  • Selection response

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology


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