ESTIMATING LEVELS OF GENE FLOW IN NATURAL POPULATIONS Montgomery Slatkin 1 1 Department of Zoology, NJ-15, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington 98195 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 (1964) is asumed, and both advantageous and deleterious mutations are considered. It is shown that the average frequency of an allele conditioned on the number of local populations it appears in—the conditional average frequency—is approximately independent of both the selection intensity and mutation rates assumed, but 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 species 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. Submitted on October 14, 1980 Revised on June 19, 1980
Genetics – Genetics Society of America
Published: Oct 1, 1981
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