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A comparison of single-sample estimators of effective population sizes from genetic marker data

Wang, J; (2016) A comparison of single-sample estimators of effective population sizes from genetic marker data. Molecular Ecology , 25 (19) pp. 4692-4711. 10.1111/mec.13725. Green open access

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Abstract

In molecular ecology and conservation genetics studies, the important parameter of effective population size (Ne) is increasingly estimated from a single sample of individuals taken at random from a population and genotyped at a number of marker loci. Several estimators are developed, based on the information of linkage disequilibrium (LD), heterozygote excess (HE), molecular coancestry (MC), and sibship frequency (SF) in marker data. The most popular is the LD estimator, because it is more accurate than HE and MC estimators, and is simpler to calculate than SF estimator. However, little is known about the accuracy of LD estimator relative to that of SF, and about the robustness of all single-sample estimators when some simplifying assumptions (e.g. random mating, no linkage, no genotyping errors) are violated. This study fills the gaps, and uses extensive simulations to compare the biases and accuracies of the 4 estimators for different population properties (e.g. bottlenecks, non-random mating, haplodiploid), marker properties (e.g. linkage, polymorphisms) and sample properties (e.g. numbers of individuals and markers), and to compare the robustness of the 4 estimators when marker data are imperfect (with allelic dropouts). Extensive simulations show that SF estimator is more accurate, has a much wider application scope (e.g. suitable to non-random mating such as selfing, haplodiploid species, dominant markers) and is more robust (e.g. to the presence of linkage and genotyping errors of markers) than the other estimators. An empirical dataset from a Yellowstone grizzly bear population was analysed to demonstrate the use of the SF estimator in practice.

Type: Article
Title: A comparison of single-sample estimators of effective population sizes from genetic marker data
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1111/mec.13725
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/mec.13725
Language: English
Additional information: Copyright © 2016 John Wiley & Sons Ltd. This is the peer reviewed version of the following article: Wang, J; (2016) A comparison of single-sample estimators of effective population sizes from genetic marker data. Molecular Ecology, which has been published in final form at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/mec.13725. This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance with Wiley Terms and Conditions for Self-Archiving (http://olabout.wiley.com/WileyCDA/Section/id-828039.html#terms).
Keywords: Effective size, drift, inbreeding, genetic markers, simulations
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Life Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Life Sciences > Div of Biosciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Life Sciences > Div of Biosciences > Genetics, Evolution and Environment
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1496982
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