Questions tagged [population-genetics]

Questions related to the study of the distributions and changes of allele frequency in a population.

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28
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4answers
5k views

Books on population or evolutionary genetics?

I have recently been involved in collaborations that require me to model the population genetics of eukaryotic populations. I fear I may either be "re-inventing the wheel" or making conceptual ...
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Are mutations a source of genetic variation?

Here is a question from the book SAT II Success Biology E/M (where the SAT is the exam taken by the American high school students): Which of the following statements is true about mutations? (A) ...
15
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2answers
840 views

Did Darwin ever reach the conclusion that selection will remove variation?

According to simple models of selection the genetic variance in a population should be reduced by selection. (Fisher's fundamental theorem states that the rate at which a population can evolve is ...
15
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3answers
5k views

Do men have a higher genetic variance than women?

I've heard that with the distribution of our genome women have less variation on the bell curve than men. Is there any basis for this? It was my understanding that women have more genetic variation ...
15
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1answer
345 views

What is the percentage of people living in England in 1500 AD whose lineage is still alive?

This sounds a bit random, but it stems from a lecture in statistical genetics which I attended a while ago. We were shown a population lineage graph from which it was clear that most lineages ...
10
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1answer
139 views

Discrepancy in time for genetic differences between human and chimpanzee to accumulate

Genetic differences between human and chimpanzee include ~50,000 amino acid changes, ~30,000,000 point mutations in non-coding sequences, and millions of insertions, deletions, inversions, genomic ...
10
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1answer
447 views

Expected time for a neutral allele to reach a frequency of $p_1$ when starting at frequency $p_0$

Kimura and Ohta (1968) showed that the expected time for a neutral allele to reach fixation (given that it will reach fixation) is $$\bar t(p_0)=-4N\left(\frac{1-p_0}{p_0}\right)\ln(1-p_0),$$ where ...
9
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3answers
719 views

Human genetic diversity in Africa in comparison with the rest of the world

Background The claim ... Most of the genetic diversity in humans is in Africa ... is quite common. On Biology.SE, it is easy to find posts that make this claim. Consider for example: Do humans ...
9
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4answers
3k views

What are the consequences of inbreeding?

Inbreeding increases the risk of getting two identical recessive genes, alleles, that cause a disease which wouldn't have been activated with mixed genes. That's how I understand it anyway. But I ...
8
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3answers
271 views

How is genetic speciation defined?

What determines speciation at a molecular level? At what point does a scientist determine two lineages are different enough to be considered separate species? Does it have a margin of error?
8
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1answer
2k views

Effect of sex-ratio on the effective population size

As stated on this wikipedia article, the effective population size $N_e$ when the sex ratio differs from $\frac{1}{2}$ is $$N_e = \frac{4N_mN_f}{N_m+N_f}$$ I understand the biased sex-ratio ...
8
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2answers
198 views

Would a colony with only one male and female collapse?

This is a thought experiment: If we form a population with only a single founder pair, can this population survive? What would happen? Would this inbreeding cause the population to go extinct? Could ...
8
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2answers
167 views

How to define “Quasifixation” in continuous approximation of finite population?

Background Many models including the famous very first models derived by Sir Ronald Fisher in his early career, assume infinite population size. In an infinite population, an allele can rise in ...
7
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2answers
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Why is the strength of genetic drift inversely proportional to the population size?

I saw a concept on the Internet that says "the strength of genetic drift is inversely proportional to the population size". I don't know why they are inversely proportional? Can somebody explain? ...
7
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1answer
1k views

Term for trait that is advantageous to a population only as long as it is rare

I remember reading about a concept—in evolutionary biology or natural selection, I think—whereby a particular trait is advantageous to the population or species but only so long as that trait is only ...
7
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2answers
918 views

How can someone share 50% of their DNA with their parents yet all humans share 99.9%?

I have heard that humans share 99.9% of their DNA with other humans. I have also heard that a child shares 50% of their DNA with their parents. How do I resolve this apparent contradiction? It has ...
7
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1answer
909 views

What is the minimum population size that Hardy-Weinberg calculations can be applied to?

I'm trying to find out if a particular allele is in Hardy-Weinberg disequilibrium, but the data is poor. What's the minimum population number that you can use to get any sort of respectable conclusion?...
7
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2answers
874 views

Help with the Price equation

The Price equation describes mathematically the evolution of a population of units from one generation to the next. $\bar{w}\Delta \bar{z}$ = $Cov (w_i,z_i) $+$ E(w_i\Delta z_i)$ I would like to ...
7
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1answer
402 views

How to determine whether changes of an allele's frequency are due to genetic drift or selection?

Given that both natural/artifical selection and genetic drift are evolutionary mechanisms that influence how allele frequencies shift in a population: Are there ways to determine whether a frequency ...
7
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2answers
169 views

Within and Between Allelic Class Diversity

I am reading Charlesworth et al. 1997. They talk about diversity within and between allelic classes. Nucleotide diversities ($π$) at each neutral site were estimated from the mean of $2 \sum z_t (...
7
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2answers
277 views

Hamilton's inclusive fitness approach

The underlying intuition of Hamilton's model of inclusive fitness is that we should study social behaviors from the point of view of actors -- rather than the recipients. To build his model, Hamilton ...
7
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1answer
131 views

Hamilton's derivation of direct fitness from his 1970 paper

In his 1970 paper "Selfish and Spiteful Behaviour in an Evolutionary Model", Hamilton uses Price's equation to derive his well-known rule $rb -c >0$. My question is about one of the steps in his ...
7
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1answer
212 views

Why are recombination rates increasing in mammals?

I have recently become fascinated with an awesome topic in biology and evolution that I feel is rarely covered in biology courses. That is, rates of meiotic recombination, or the the amount that an ...
7
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1answer
186 views

Easy derivation of Kimura's approximation for the probability of fixation of a mutation

Kimura's approximation for the probability of fixation of a mutation under selection finds recurrent use in population genetics models till date. I am trying to understand the mathematical basis of ...
7
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2answers
134 views

Is it mostly true that predators or parasites traverse wider spatial areas than their prey or hosts?

Does it tend to be true that as you go up the food chain, the species tend to cover wider areas? I am basically asking whether a population's prey varies spatially more than a population's predators ...
7
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1answer
683 views

Understanding F-statistics in population genetics

I am reading the classic Weir and Cockerham 1984 paper about $F_{ST}$ estimation. At the beginning (first page, right column), they define 3 statistics. $F$ is the correlation of genes within ...
7
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1answer
901 views

What does “Mutational Variance” mean?

Background The concept of mutational variance can be found in many articles including this one for example. The mutational variance of a trait number $i$ can be found in the M-matrix in position $m_{...
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2answers
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Are mutations random?

The following claim Mutations are random or just the use of the expression Random mutations are very common among lay people. The claim is very common among lay people. The claim is often ...
6
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1answer
112 views

Evolution of diversity and extinction resistance

I saw a comment on an answer to another question that touched on an interesting topic: keeping diversity is useful for parameter exploration or to adapt to future environmental change My initial ...
6
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1answer
943 views

Why does the slope of parent-offspring regression equals the heritability in the narrow sense?

Background ---- Notations and assumptions ---- let $W_{ij}$ be the fitness associated to the genotype $AiAj$. $x$ is the frequency of the allele $A1$ in the population. The frequency of the allele $...
6
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1answer
111 views

Why is there no symmetry in pigmentation when comparing people north and south of the equator?

If you are at the equator and start moving north, the further you travel, the lighter the skin of the indigenous peoples. Considering that we live on a ball, why do we not find the same traveling ...
6
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1answer
73 views

How to seek for available genetic data relevant to ecology and evolution?

I had a quick look online. There seems to exist many different website of database archiving. Some data might be free of charge while some others might not be. I found things such as Dryad, TreeBase, ...
6
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2answers
216 views

Mathematical models of lineage selection

I'm interested in the concept of lineage selection (Aboitiz, 1991) as an explanation for why traits would be selected for that enhance the rate at which evolution can occur, rather than directly ...
6
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2answers
861 views

What is Environmental Robustness? Is it different from plasticity?

Hansen (2006) in his review uses the concept of environmental robustness independently of the other concepts of robustness (at pages 139 and 140) without defining ...
6
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1answer
248 views

Hill-Roberston effects and effective population size

From this article, first page, middle of the second column: Even if harmful alleles do not become fixed, they can still reduce the efficacy of selection on neighbouring loci through a process ...
6
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1answer
236 views

Recommendations for textbooks on statistical and quantitative genetics, and genetic epidemiology

I'm looking for a textbook on statistical genetics, quantitative genetics, association mapping, and genetic epidemiology. My interests include, but are not limited to, complex trait analysis, and the ...
6
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1answer
280 views

Variance in Fst in the infinite island model

The most famous result in the study of structured populations come from Sewall Wright. He showed that in an island model, where each subpopulation is of size $N$ and the migration rate is $m$, then ...
6
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0answers
153 views

Identity by descent among unrelated individuals

I was reading a couple of papers which talk about IBD (Identity by descent) among unrelated individuals (for eg. http://www.pnas.org/content/109/4/1193.long). However they do not seem to clearly ...
5
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2answers
591 views

Do mutant alleles result from mutation of the wild type?

The allele that encodes for the most common form of a phenotype in natural population is called a wild type allele and all the rest of the alleles encoding forms other than the wild type are called ...
5
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2answers
9k views

Definition of “Effective population size”

Could you explain to me, what is the meaning of "Effective population size ($N_e$)"? I would appreciate an example as well.
5
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1answer
112 views

How do bumblebees and hornets avoid the negative effects of inbreeding?

I just learned that all hornets and bumblebees except for the queen die at the end of the year and the queen starts a new nest in spring. But that means the next generation of queens have only ...
5
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1answer
4k views

How do I calculate the change in allele frequency in a haploid population under selection?

From this book For simplicity, let us consider a haploid organism and assume that the frequencies of alleles $A_1$ and $A_2$ are given by $x$ and $y=1-x$, respectively. We also assume that the ...
5
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1answer
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Microsatellite shifts (peak calling) GeneMapper! Thesis help!

I'm a masters student attempting to conduct a parentage analysis on a population of fish for my thesis. My advisor and post-docs haven't been very helpful, so I need some help! I have dinucleotide ...
5
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1answer
177 views

Hardy Weinberg principle

The principle is that sum total of all allelic frequencies is 1. Individual frequencies for example can be named p,q.In a diploid cell , p and q represent the frequency of allele A and a respectively ...
5
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1answer
144 views

Learn Bioconductor the hard way!

I came to analyzing population genetics data from the background of a theoretician and a computer biologist but not with the standard tools that a bioinformatician (or empiricist in population ...
5
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1answer
313 views

Why estimate linear and full (linear, quadratic, and correlational) selection coefficients separately?

"We then fitted a linear regression including all three life-history traits to estimate the vector of linear selection gradients, β, for each sex (Lande and Arnold 1983). A quadratic regression ...
5
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2answers
795 views

Simulating substitution rate of neutral mutations

I am trying to computationally simulate a population based on the Wright-Fisher model I would like to get to the classic result of the neutral theory of molecular evolution that the rate of neutral ...
5
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1answer
409 views

What is meant by “the degree to which a gene is expressed” in an individual?

Here is an excerpt from a text that I was reading, Here is an example of microarray data. The idea is to take a group of different individuals and for each of them, you measure how much they do ...
5
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1answer
232 views

Simulating DNA sequences in R with a given value of $\theta = 4N_{e}\mu$

This might not be the most appropriate site to be asking such a question, but perhaps someone has a solution. My question is: is there an R package or function for simulation of DNA sequences of a ...
5
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1answer
107 views

Why don't the genetic similarities between ‘unrelated’ individuals of the same and different species outweigh the differences?

Ever since starting to learn about the concept of inclusive fitness during my BSc, I've been bugged by this questions: if inclusive fitness can account for many ‘altruistic’ behaviors, why don't the ...