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Heredity

Comparison of different genetic distances to test isolation by distance between populations.


PMID 28537571

Abstract

Studying isolation by distance can provide useful demographic information. To analyze isolation by distance from molecular data, one can use some kind of genetic distance or coalescent simulations. Molecular markers can often display technical caveats, such as PCR-based amplification failures (null alleles, allelic dropouts). These problems can alter population parameter inferences that can be extracted from molecular data. In this simulation study, we analyze the behavior of different genetic distances in Island (null hypothesis) and stepping stone models displaying varying neighborhood sizes. Impact of null alleles of increasing frequency is also studied. In stepping stone models without null alleles, the best statistic to detect isolation by distance in most situations is the chord distance D