Identifying quantitative trait nucleotides (QTNs), the genetic polymorphisms linked to phenotypic variation, has become a goal for many plant ecologists and evolutionary biologists in recent years. But what is the true value of this potentially expensive and labor intensive programme of research? In a review published in AoB PLANTS, Lee et al. discuss the ways by which the QTN programme can offer unique insight into the ecology and evolution of adaptation in plants. They cite recent noteworthy examples of QTN work and provide recommendations for refocusing efforts to identify and study the genes underlying ecologically important traits.
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