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Quantitative genetics, one of the disciplines founded by Ronald Fisher, J.B.S. Haldane and Sewall Wright, is the predictive side of mathematical genetics. Quantitative genetics studies quantitative continuous traits, such as body weight and height, in contrast with Mendelian characters such as the colour of peas (which are either green or yellow, but never intermediate).
Its central concern is the estimation of various components of genetic variance, usually from pedigree data. These estimated values can subsequently be used to make predictions about the efficiency of breeding for particular traits in plants and animals. Quantitative genetics has also been extended to understanding the heritability of discrete human diseases, and is hence important in medical science, especially preventative.
This page is part of the EvoWiki encyclopedia of genetics and molecular biology.