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Genetics. Sep 1973; 75(1): 199–212.
PMCID: PMC1212997

The Age of a Neutral Mutant Persisting in a Finite Population

Abstract

Formulae for the mean and the mean square age of a neutral allele which is segregating with frequency x in a population of effective size Ne have been obtained using the diffusion equation method, for the case of 4Nev<1 where v is the mutation rate. It has been shown that the average ages of neutral alleles, even if their frequencies are relatively low, are quite old. For example, a neutral mutant whose current frequency is 10% has the expected age roughly equal to the effective population size Ne and the standard deviation 1.4Ne (in generations), assuming that this mutant has increased by random drift from a very low frequency. Also, formulae for the mean "first arrival time" of a neutral mutant to a certain frequency x have been presented. In addition, a new, approximate method has been developed which enables us to obtain the condition under which frequencies of "rare" polymorphic alleles among local populations are expected to be uniform if the alleles are selectively neutral.—It was concluded that exchange of only a few individuals on the average between adjacent colonies per generation is enough to bring about such a uniformity of frequencies.

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Selected References

These references are in PubMed. This may not be the complete list of references from this article.
  • KIMURA M, CROW JF. THE NUMBER OF ALLELES THAT CAN BE MAINTAINED IN A FINITE POPULATION. Genetics. 1964 Apr;49:725–738. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Kimura M, Maruyama T. Pattern of neutral polymorphism in a geographically structured population. Genet Res. 1971 Oct;18(2):125–131. [PubMed]
  • Kimura M, Ohta T. The Average Number of Generations until Fixation of a Mutant Gene in a Finite Population. Genetics. 1969 Mar;61(3):763–771. [PMC free article] [PubMed]

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