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Estimating levels of gene flow in natural populations

Estimating levels of gene flow in natural populations

Genetics 99(2): 323-335

The results from a simulation model of selection, mutation and genetic drift in a geographically subdivided population are presented. The infinite-alleles mutation model of Kimura and Crow is assumed, and both advantageous and deleterious mutations are considered. The average frequency of an allele conditioned on the number of local populations it appears in.sbd.the conditional average frequency.sbd.is approximately independent of both the selection intensity and mutation rates assumed; however, it depends strongly on the overall level of gene flow. This result justifies the use of the conditional average frequency to obtain a rough estimate of the level of gene flow in a subdivided population. Data from 16 sp. [Drosophila pseudoobscura, D. willistoni, Stephanomeria exigua, Chanos chanos, Mytilus edulis, Thomomys bottae, Peromyscus californicus, P. polionotus, Plethodon ouachitae, Lacerta melisellensis, Hyla regilla, Batrachoseps pacifica ssp. 1, B. pacifica ssp. 2, Plethodon dorsalis, P. cinereus, B. campi] are presented and discussed. There are large differences in the conditional average frequencies of different species, although there is some consistency within taxa. Some species apparently have high levels of gene flow and others, particularly salamanders, have low levels. Alternative explanations for the patterns found in the data are considered.

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Accession: 005386337

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PMID: 17249120

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