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Genetics. Nov 1989; 123(3): 603–613.
PMCID: PMC1203833

A Cladistic Measure of Gene Flow Inferred from the Phylogenies of Alleles


A method for estimating the average level of gene flow among populations is introduced. The method provides an estimate of Nm, where N is the size of each local population in an island model and m is the migration rate. This method depends on knowing the phylogeny of the nonrecombining segments of DNA that are sampled. Given the phylogeny, the geographic location from which each sample is drawn is treated as multistate character with one state for each geographic location. A parsimony criterion applied to the evolution of this character on the phylogeny provides the minimum number of migration events consistent with the phylogeny. Extensive simulations show that the distribution of this minimum number is a simple function of Nm. Assuming the phylogeny is accurately estimated, this method provides an estimate of Nm that is as nearly as accurate as estimates obtained using F(ST) and other statistics when Nm is moderate. Two examples of the use of this method with mitochondrial DNA data are presented.

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Selected References

These references are in PubMed. This may not be the complete list of references from this article.
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