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Gordon Research Conference — Quantitative Genetics and Genomics

10th February 2019   -   15th February 2019
Lucca (Barga), Italy


Quantitative or complex traits are of great importance in evolution (e.g. clutch size in birds), medicine (e.g. most psychiatric diseases) and agriculture (e.g. yields of crops and livestock). Study of the genetics of complex traits has a long history but the field has been revolutionized in the last decade by the availability of SNP genotype and genome sequence data on individuals. These large datasets are becoming even larger as mega-projects such as UK Biobank collect genomic and phenotypic data on 500,000 people and as commercial genotyping of cattle and poultry reaches 1,000,000s of animals. In addition, “phenomics” or the automated recording of high dimensional phenotypes is adding another dimension to the scale of datasets available to scientists. This explosion of data is potentially increasing greatly the power to make discoveries but there are many challenges to be solved if this potential is to be realized. This conference will cover the basic understanding of the genetics of complex traits, how they evolve, how the path from genome to phenotype can be traced using functional annotation and gene editing and how this knowledge is applied in medicine and agriculture. For instance, understanding the genetics of complex traits is fundamental to hopes for personalized medicine. The conference is unusual in that it brings together scientists working on humans, crops, livestock and other species. In recent years cross fertilization between these groups has been beneficial to all. For instance, the mixed statistical models developed in livestock genetics have been adopted by geneticists working in human genetics, crops and other species. This conference with ample time for discussion aims to stimulate further cross fertilization and lead to new collaborations.

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