The logistic or S-shaped curve of growth is one of the few universal laws in biology. It is certain that there exist specific genes affecting growth curves, but, due to a lack of statistical models, it is unclear how these genes cause phenotypic differentiation in growth and developmental trajectories. In this paper we present a statistical model for detecting major genes responsible for growth trajectories. This model is incorporated with pervasive logistic growth curves under the maximum likelihood framework and, thus, is expected to improve over previous models in both parameter estimation and inference. The power of this model is demonstrated by an example using forest tree data, in which evidence of major genes affecting stem growth processes is successfully detected. The implications for this model and its extensions are discussed.
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