Numerous studies have detected significant contributions of genes to variation in development, size, and shape of craniofacial traits in a number of vertebrate taxa. This study examines 43 quantitative traits derived from lateral cephalographs of 830 baboons (Papio hamadryas) from the pedigreed population housed at the Southwest National Primate Research Center. Quantitative genetic analyses were conducted using the SOLAR analytic platform, a maximum-likelihood variance components method that incorporates all familial information for parameter estimation. Heritability estimates were significant and of moderate to high magnitude for all craniofacial traits. Additionally, 14 significant quantitative trait loci (QTL) were identified for 12 traits from the three developmental components (basicranium, splanchnocranium, and neurocranium) of the craniofacial complex. These QTL were found on baboon chromosomes (and human orthologs) PHA1 (HSA1), PHA 2 (HSA3), PHA4 (HSA6), PHA11 (HSA12), PHA13 (HSA2), PHA16 (HSA17), and PHA17 (HSA13) (PHA, P. hamadryas; HSA, Homo sapiens). This study of the genetic architecture of the craniofacial complex in baboons provides the groundwork needed to establish the baboon as an animal model for the study of genetic and nongenetic influences on craniofacial variation.
ASJC Scopus subject areas