Maximum likelihood estimation of population growth rates based on the coalescent.

Department of Genetics, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington 98195, USA.
Genetics (Impact Factor: 4.87). 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.

1 Follower
  • Source
    12/2010; 8(1-2). DOI:10.5597/lajam00155
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    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 · 1.66 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The variability of the mtDNA control region (D-loop) was examined in Amur sturgeon endemic to the Amur River. This species is also classified as critically endangered by the IUCN Red List of Threatened species. Sequencing of 796- to 812-bp fragments of the D-loop in 112 sturgeon collected in the Lower Amur revealed 73 different genotypes. The sample was characterized by a high level of haplotypic (0.976) and nucleotide (0.0194) diversity. The identified haplotypes split into two well-defined monophyletic groups, BG (n = 39) and SM (n = 34), differing (HKY distance) on average by 3.41% of nucleotide positions with an average level of intragroup differences of 0.54 and 1.23%, respectively. Moreover, the haplotypes of the SM groups differed by the presence of a 13–14 bp deletion. Most of the specimens (66 out of 112) carried BG haplotypes. Overall, the pattern of pairwise nucleotide differences and the results of neutrality tests, as well as the results of tests for compliance with the model of sudden demographic expansion or with the model of exponential growth pointed to a past significant increase in the number of Amur sturgeon, which was most clearly manifested in the analysis of data on the BG haplogroup. The constructed Bayesian skyline plots showed that this growth began about 18-16 thousand years ago. At present, the effective size of the strongly reduced (due to overfishing) population of Amur sturgeon may be equal to or even lower than it was before the beginning of this growth during the Last Glacial Maximum. The presence in the mitochondrial gene pool of Amur sturgeon of two haplogroups, their unequal evolutionary dynamics, and, judging by scanty data, their unequal representation in the Russian and Chinese parts of the Amur River basin point to the possible existence of at least two distinct populations of Amur sturgeon in the past.
    Russian Journal of Genetics 02/2015; 51(2-2):169-184. DOI:10.1134/S102279541502012X · 0.41 Impact Factor

Full-text (2 Sources)

Available from
Jul 11, 2014