The extent, causes and implications of pleiotropy among complex traits (ARC Discovery Project administered by The University of Melbourne) (2016–2018)
The aim of this project is to understand how a mutation in the DNA can effect many characters or traits and the
implications of this. Many traits are called complex because they are controlled by a very large number of genes,
most of which have small effects. Complex traits include traits important in medicine (eg susceptibility to heart
disease) and in agriculture (eg tenderness of meat). Because there are many genes affecting each trait, most
genes have small effects which makes them hard to identify. The fact that the same mutation that has a small
effect on a complex trait also has a larger effect on a less complex trait can help us to identify the mutation and
use it in agriculture or medicine.