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Birth Date Selection Mapping

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My advisor, Jerry Taylor, and I recently developed and published in BMC Genomics a new method to identify ongoing selection on complex or quantitative traits (A novel analytical method, Birth Date Selection Mapping, detects response of the Angus (Bos taurus) genome to selection on complex traits). Previous methods identify selection which has reached completion (or nearly reach completion) on novel mutations affecting Mendelian traits. A well known example of this type of selection is the adaptation of human populations to digest milk as adults. But, these sweeping selection events are the exception.
Selection often acts in an incremental fashion on variants already present in populations, and this selection is often on complex traits influenced by a large number of genes. By analyzing birth date as the dependent variable in a genome-wide association analysis our method is able to identify these more subtle selection responses.


In our BMC Genomics paper we analyzed 3,570 Angus animals…