Waldmann P, Garcia-Gil MR, Sillanpää MJ
Comparing Bayesian estimates of genetic differentiation of molecular markers and quantitative traits: an application to Pinus sylvestris
Heredity: 2005 94:623-629

Comparison of the level of differentiation at neutral molecular markers (estimated as F-ST or G(ST)) with the level of differentiation at quantitative traits ( estimated as Q(ST)) has become a standard tool for inferring that there is differential selection between populations. We estimated Q(ST) of timing of bud set from a latitudinal cline of Pinus sylvestris with a Bayesian hierarchical variance component method utilizing the information on the pre-estimated population structure from neutral molecular markers. Unfortunately, the between-family variances differed substantially between populations that resulted in a bimodal posterior of Q(ST) that could not be compared in any sensible way with the unimodal posterior of the microsatellite F-ST. In order to avoid publishing studies with flawed Q(ST) estimates, we recommend that future studies should present heritability estimates for each trait and population. Moreover, to detect variance heterogeneity in frequentist methods ( ANOVA and REML), it is of essential importance to check also that the residuals are normally distributed and do not follow any systematically deviating trends.

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