I'm new to quantitative genetics and I'd like to analyze heritability of infection capacity. Let's say a parasite has a wide host spectrum (mammals, birds, amphibians, etc.). I'd like to know what the heritability of bird infection is. Can I simply convert to discrete characters into continuous (mammals = 1, birds = 2, amphibians = 3, etc. 4,5,6..) and use a selection experiment (take only those that infect birds and infect the host spectrum with the next generation) and use the h2=R/S formula? Is there a "legal" way to do so?
Many thanks - Christoph