Mathematical simulation has been used to analyze how the sample size affects the accuracy of the estimation of molecular variation in a population. The sample size was varied from 1/200 to 1/4 of the total size of the simulated population. The possible effect of the length of the nucleotide sequences compared has also been estimated; it was varied from 500 to 15 000 bp. A tendency towards underestimation of the mean nucleotide diversity (π) by about 25% of the expected value has been found. The sample size and/or the length of the nucleotide sequence used have been shown to affect more the scatter of the π values than the accuracy of its measurement (the proportion of correct estimates of π is about 14%). The assumption is made that the sample size affects the probability of accepting a false null hypothesis in analysis of the demographic history of a species.
Russian Journal of Genetics – Springer Journals
Published: Jul 14, 2012
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