Novel approaches for unraveling the architecture of complex traits
Evolution acts on variation within species where qualitative variation, like eye color, and quantitative variation, like body size, can be distinguished. It is a major aim in biology to identify the molecular basis of this variation. Such an enhanced understanding of variation will, for example, help to improve the yield of crop plants and allow to custom tailor medical treatment to the unique genetic make-up of a patient.
While the genetic basis of most qualitative traits could be readily identified, unravelling the genetic basis of quantitative traits remains a challenge, some even argue the major challenge for biology in the 21th century. To meet this challenge we will explore the potential of novel, Next Generation Sequencing based, approaches for unravelling the genetic basis of complex traits.