Maximum Likelihood Estimation of Population Growth Rates Based on the Coalescent

Department of Genetics, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington 98195, USA.
Genetics (Impact Factor: 5.96). 06/1998; 149(1):429-34.
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT We describe a method for co-estimating 4Nemu (four times the product of effective population size and neutral mutation rate) and population growth rate from sequence samples using Metropolis-Hastings sampling. Population growth (or decline) is assumed to be exponential. The estimates of growth rate are biased upwards, especially when 4Nemu is low; there is also a slight upwards bias in the estimate of 4Nemu itself due to correlation between the parameters. This bias cannot be attributed solely to Metropolis-Hastings sampling but appears to be an inherent property of the estimator and is expected to appear in any approach which estimates growth rate from genealogy structure. Sampling additional unlinked loci is much more effective in reducing the bias than increasing the number or length of sequences from the same locus.

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Available from: Mary K Kuhner, Jul 11, 2014
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    • "Estimates of genetic diversity (θ) with 95% CIs obtained from simulations using the ML coalescent-based approach of Kuhner et al. (1998); long-term effective population sizes (Ne) were derived from θ "
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    ABSTRACT: Genetic variation was examined in two endangered mussel species, Epioblasma brevidens and Epioblasma capsaeformis, and in a non-listed species, Lampsilis fasciola, in the Clinch River, Tennessee, USA, by screening mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) sequences and nuclear DNA microsatellites. Patterns of mtDNA polymorphism exhibited different trends in long-term population sizes for each species during the late Pleistocene and Holocene (∼20 000 ya to present); namely, E. brevidens has declined over time, E. capsaeformis has remained demographically stable, and L. fasciola has expanded. However, analyses using microsatellites did not exhibit similar trends, perhaps because homoplasy had eliminated long-term population signatures for the loci examined. For both marker types, long-term effective population size (Ne) was low in E. brevidens, intermediate in E. capsaeformis, and high in L. fasciola. Moderately diverged mtDNA lineages, perhaps indicative of secondary contact, were observed in E. brevidens and E. capsaeformis. Perhaps the most surprising result of this study was the high level of genetic variation observed at both mtDNA and microsatellite DNA markers for L. fasciola, variation seemingly contrary to the relatively small demes that currently reside in the Clinch River. However, the data are consistent with known demographic and life-history traits of these three mussel species and their fish hosts, namely that they each use hosts with different dispersal capabilities, ranging from low, moderate, and high, respectively. The low divergence of mtDNA sequence variation reported in this and other recent mussel studies indicates that considerable extant population genetic variation probably originated during the late Pleistocene and Holocene. © 2015 The Linnean Society of London, Biological Journal of the Linnean Society, 2015, ●●, ●●–●●.
    Biological Journal of the Linnean Society 02/2015; 114(2). DOI:10.1111/bij.12437 · 2.26 Impact Factor
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    • "Table S5. Assessment of past changes in N e within local populations based on maximum-likelihood estimates of g, the exponential growth parameter, calculated using FLUCTUATE (Kuhner et al. 1998). Table S6. "
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    ABSTRACT: Long-term population history can influence the genetic effects of recent bottlenecks. Therefore, for threatened or endangered species, an understanding of the past is relevant when formulating conservation strategies. Levels of variation at neutral markers have been useful for estimating local effective population sizes (Ne) and inferring whether population sizes increased or decreased over time. Furthermore, analyses of genotypic, allelic frequency, and phylogenetic information can potentially be used to separate historical from recent demographic changes. For 15 populations of Galápagos giant tortoises (Chelonoidis sp.), we used 12 microsatellite loci and DNA sequences from the mitochondrial control region and a nuclear intron, to reconstruct demographic history on shallow (past ~100 generations, ~2500 years) and deep (pre-Holocene, >10 thousand years ago) timescales. At the deep timescale, three populations showed strong signals of growth, but with different magnitudes and timing, indicating different underlying causes. Furthermore, estimated historical Ne of populations across the archipelago showed no correlation with island age or size, underscoring the complexity of predicting demographic history a priori. At the shallow timescale, all populations carried some signature of a genetic bottleneck, and for 12 populations, point estimates of contemporary Ne were very small (i.e., < 50). On the basis of the comparison of these genetic estimates with published census size data, Ne generally represented ~0.16 of the census size. However, the variance in this ratio across populations was considerable. Overall, our data suggest that idiosyncratic and geographically localized forces shaped the demographic history of tortoise populations. Furthermore, from a conservation perspective, the separation of demographic events occurring on shallow versus deep timescales permits the identification of naturally rare versus newly rare populations; this distinction should facilitate prioritization of management action.
    Ecology and Evolution 02/2015; 5(3). DOI:10.1002/ece3.1388 · 2.32 Impact Factor
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    • "Y. H. Qu et al. and upper bounds of the 95% confidence intervals, were estimated for mtDNA using fluctuate 1.4 (Kuhner et al., 1998) and scaled to Ne using a mutation rate of 1 9 10 À8 per year. Divergence times, which were converted to numbers of generations, were set to be the lower and upper bounds of the ABC estimated divergence times (Table 2). "
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    ABSTRACT: AimEast Asia is known for its exceptionally high biological diversity and endemism. Various geological and climatic events during the Pliocene and Pleistocene have been invoked to explain this high endemism, and these processes have had different impacts on different organisms. Herein, we investigate the relative role of these historical processes in the genetic evidence for endemism of intraspecific lineages of two East Asian species: the grey-cheeked fulvetta (Alcippe morrisonia) and the red-headed tree babbler (Stachyridopsis ruficeps).LocationEast Asia.Methods We studied the genetic structure based on mitochondrial and nuclear DNA and evaluated the phylogeographical lineages using coalescent species tree approaches. The influences of different historical processes on diversification among phylogeographical lineages were analysed using coalescent models. We tested correlations between ecological divergence and phylogeographical splits.ResultsThe genetic structure analysis and species tree estimation revealed three deeply divergent lineages within both species. One lineage is endemic to the mountains of Southwest China and the other to Taiwan. Coalescent simulations suggested that lineage diversification mostly occurred during the late Pliocene. Within this time frame, uplift of the mountains of Southwest China and formation of the island of Taiwan are geological events consistent with the geographical isolation and ecological niche divergence of these phylogeographical lineages.Main conclusionsOur results suggest that the main driver of avian endemism in East Asia was the formation of new montane and island habitats following the uplift of the mountains of Southwest China and formation of the island of Taiwan in the Pliocene. However, the populations in the two regions were affected differently by the climatic oscillations during the Pleistocene. The mountains of Southwest China were climatically stable during glaciations, allowing populations to persist throughout the Pleistocene and maintain their genetic uniqueness. In contrast, glaciations resulted in lowered sea levels, allowing dispersal between the island of Taiwan and mainland China, thus obscuring the genetic endemism of the Taiwanese populations.
    Journal of Biogeography 09/2014; 42(1). DOI:10.1111/jbi.12407 · 4.59 Impact Factor
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