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Genetics. Mar 2002; 160(3): 1203–1215.
PMCID: PMC1462003

An estimator for pairwise relatedness using molecular markers.


I propose a new estimator for jointly estimating two-gene and four-gene coefficients of relatedness between individuals from an outbreeding population with data on codominant genetic markers and compare it, by Monte Carlo simulations, to previous ones in precision and accuracy for different distributions of population allele frequencies, numbers of alleles per locus, actual relationships, sample sizes, and proportions of relatives included in samples. In contrast to several previous estimators, the new estimator is well behaved and applies to any number of alleles per locus and any allele frequency distribution. The estimates for two- and four-gene coefficients of relatedness from the new estimator are unbiased irrespective of the sample size and have sampling variances decreasing consistently with an increasing number of alleles per locus to the minimum asymptotic values determined by the variation in identity-by-descent among loci per se, regardless of the actual relationship. The new estimator is also robust for small sample sizes and for unknown relatives being included in samples for estimating allele frequencies. Compared to previous estimators, the new one is generally advantageous, especially for highly polymorphic loci and/or small sample sizes.

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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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