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Online Journal of Bioinformatics©

Volume 6 : 34-41, 2005.

 Morphometric and Distance Computation Software for evolutionary studies.


Carvajal-Rodríguez A, Rodríguez MG



Departamento de Bioquímica, Genética e Inmunología, Facultad de Ciencias, Universidad de Vigo, 36310 VIGO, Spain




Carvajal-Rodríguez A, Rodríguez MG,  Morphometric and Distance Computation Software for evolutionary studies,  Onl J Bioinform., 6 : 34-41, 2005. In evolutionary studies, quantitative differences within and between populations require the measurement of specific quantitative traits such as size and shape. Geometric morphometry distinguishes shape and size precisely. Currently there are freely available programs such as tpsRelw but there is no program which allows for hierarchical structured data or ANOVA tests to estimate genetic components of quantitative variation within and between populations. MODICOS (MOrphometry and DIstance COmputation Software oriented for evolutionary studies) is a computer program with a user-friendly Windows 95/98/2000/NT/XP interface. MODICOS computes some morphometric measures as centroid size, uniform and non-uniform components of shape and uses them to calculate estimates of quantitative (heritable) variation both at the intra and inter-population level. Specifically, MODICOS computes additive genetic variances of size and shape measurements both for half sib or full sib family design (one way ANOVA) and inter-population differentiation measure QST (two way ANOVA). To show the use of MODICOS, a complete analysis (morphometric and genetic) was performed using a sample of two different ecotypes of Littorina saxatilis (rough periwinkle), each with 29 and 30 families respectively, and 3 individuals per family. It seems that the non-uniform shape component is more efficient capturing the effect of natural selection onto the two different ecotypes. This program may be viewed here.


KEYWORDS: Software, quantitative genetic variation