Community ecology theory suggests that an individual's phenotype is determined by the phenotypes of its coexisting members to the extent at which this process can shape community evolution. Here, we develop a mapping theory to identify interaction quantitative trait loci (QTL) governing inter-individual dependence. We mathematically formulate the decision-making strategy of interacting individuals. We integrate these mathematical descriptors into a statistical procedure, enabling the joint characterization of how QTL drive the strengths of ecological interactions and how the genetic architecture of QTL is driven by ecological networks. In three fish full-sib mapping experiments, we identify a set of genome-wide QTL that control a range of societal behaviors, including mutualism, altruism, aggression, and antagonism, and find that these intraspecific interactions increase the genetic variation of body mass by about 50%. We showcase how the interaction QTL can be used as editors to reconstruct and engineer new social networks for ecological communities.
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