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If a particular SNP has very similar MAF value across multiple largely non-overlapping populations, with the assumption of no gene flow between the populations over many generations, would that then suggest that there is a selective pressure that is keeping the MAF stable in these populations?

Are there methods to test that can parse out the drift and selection effects in such cases?

Also, does it matter in this context if the MAF value is high or low - since I believe a low MAF SNP is more likely to disappear than a high MAF one?

Thanks in advance for any insight.

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  • $\begingroup$ Your are not saying but I would assume you are specifically interested in cases of balancing selection? $\endgroup$ – Remi.b Nov 15 '18 at 4:48
  • $\begingroup$ I would assume you would need a vast number of independent populations and/or small population sizes in order to be able to deduct from the constance of an allele frequency alone that balancing selection is at play. $\endgroup$ – Remi.b Nov 15 '18 at 4:49
  • $\begingroup$ Yes that was what I was meaning to, sorry for not being very clear...do you know of any literature or probabilistic methods that can deduce if balancing selection is at work versus random drift. Thanks for your answer. $\endgroup$ – Kushal Kumar Dey Nov 15 '18 at 20:41
  • $\begingroup$ No, I am afraid I don't know of any literature on the subject. I would tend to think though that with population genetic data only, it will be very hard to get a good signal of balancing selection but I might be wrong. $\endgroup$ – Remi.b Nov 15 '18 at 21:33

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