With many molecular markers in many species, research efforts in quantitative genetics have focused on dissecting these traits and understanding the importance of factors such as correlated response due to hitchhiking or pleiotropy. Here, in an examination of long-term selection experiments in mice, the evidence strongly supports the primary importance of hitchhiking on the coat colour loci brown and dilute in mice selected for high weight gain. First, the amount of observed change in coat colour allele frequency could not be explained by genetic drift alone, implying that selection was of high importance. Second, the allele frequency changes included reversals in the direction change, but there were still positive correlations in the early generations with differences in weight gain between the phenotypes. Third, the correlation between the change in allele frequencies and phenotypic difference in weight gain declined over time, consistent with the decay expected from linkage associations. Fourth, the changes at both loci in a short-term selection experiment for low weight gain were in the opposite direction than the changes in the contemporaneous related population selected for high weight gain.
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