Quantitative genetics of skeletal nonmetric traits in the rhesus macaques on Cayo Santiago. II. Phenotypic, genetic, and environmental correlations between traits

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Abstract

The general lack of phenotypic correlation among skeletal nonmetric traits has been interpreted as indicating a lack of genetic correlation among these traits. Nonmetric traits scored on animals in the skeletal collection of rhesus macaques from Cayo Santiago are used to calculate phenotypic, genetic, and environmental correlations between traits. The results show that even when phenotypic correlations are low, there may be large, significant genetic correlations among these traits. The genetic correlation pattern suggests that genes which affect nonmetric trait variation act primarily at a local level in the cranium, even though there are genes with pleiotropic effects on skeletal nonmetric traits throughout the cranium. Environmental and phenotypic correlations do not show this neighborhood pattern of correlation.

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