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Fisher's partitioning of genotypic values and genetic variance is highly relevant in the current era of genome-wide association studies (GWASs). However, despite being more than a century old, a number of persistent misconceptions related to nonadditive genetic effects remain. We developed a user-friendly web tool, the Falconer ShinyApp, to show how the combination of gene action and allele frequencies at causal loci translate to genetic variance and genetic variance components for a complex trait. The app can be used to demonstrate the relationship between a SNP effect size estimated from GWAS and the variation the SNP generates in the population, i.e., how locus-specific effects lead to individual differences in traits. In addition, it can also be used to demonstrate how within and between locus interactions (dominance and epistasis, respectively) usually do not lead to a large amount of nonadditive variance relative to additive variance, and therefore, that these interactions usually do not explain individual differences in a population.

Original publication




Journal article


PLoS Genet

Publication Date





Epistasis, Genetic, Gene Frequency, Genes, Genes, Dominant, Genetic Loci, Genetic Variation, Genome-Wide Association Study, Genotype, Humans, Internet, Models, Genetic, Polymorphism, Single Nucleotide, Software