If a given organism has a certain characteristic (a chemical that's produced, a place an organ or organelle is in, a particular behavior), what's the general procedure for correlating that characteristic to a particular gene?

As I understand it, there are two main ways of doing, the first being to take a sample from two populations that do and do not have the characteristic respectively, then find the genetic correlation between the two populations. The second way I've heard of is by inserting or removing a particular gene and then observing the organism after it has grown, either inserting some marker gene (fluorescence is a popular one) or removing a gene believed to be responsible for the characteristic (something like leaf or petal pigmentation).

Are these the only effective ways of forming these correlations? What sorts of correlations could be made in silico? If two different species create the same chemical, and you know the gene responsible for that chemical's creation in the first species, would you be able to somehow infer which gene is responsible in the second species? What happens if you don't have a population without the given characteristic you want to correlate?

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Have a search for the terms gene and homology; that'll get you started on most of an answer. $\endgroup$
    – bob1
    Nov 28, 2022 at 20:34
  • $\begingroup$ Ah thanks! I figure the subject is a pretty common question, but I couldn't get the right keywords for what I was looking for. $\endgroup$
    – Gumpf
    Nov 28, 2022 at 20:47
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    $\begingroup$ I have edited your title, despite voting to close the question, because what you are asking is the correlation is between a gene and a trait, not genetics and trait. Genetics is the overall study of this topic, and the methods of making such correlations have varied historically with the development of scientific methodology and knowledge, and differs between organisms. Your question is therefore impossibly broad for this site, and what you need to do is read a book on — yes — genetics. $\endgroup$
    – David
    Nov 30, 2022 at 12:42
  • $\begingroup$ Ok do you have a recommendation? $\endgroup$
    – Gumpf
    Nov 30, 2022 at 14:28
  • $\begingroup$ I recommend looking into genome-wide association studies, genetic mapping, etc. $\endgroup$ Dec 22, 2022 at 20:57


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