Most of the genetic studies in populations in the 20th Century were analyses of single gene Mendelian characters that varied in a binary mode and were easier to study. However, when one analyses individuals in a population, the population shows a continuous variation for most characteristics, be it for characters like height, body mass, or susceptibility to diseases like diabetes or hypertension in humans, plant height and crop yields in plants, or milk production in animals. These characteristics (traits) have multiple genetic factors contributing to their incidence and are heavily influenced by the environment (diet, stress, etc.). Recent technological advances have helped to identify genetic factors contributing to these traits. However, several gaps remain in our understanding of the mechanistic basis and evolution of these traits.
How population level variants affect phenotypes at transcriptional, post-transcriptional, and phenotypic levels by using both yeast model studies and large datasets. Applying evolutionary principles to understand the interplay between genetic and phenotypic variation.