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Genetics. 2002 May; 161(1): 435–445.
PMCID: PMC1462116

Analysis of multilocus zygotic associations.


While nonrandom associations between zygotes at different loci (zygotic associations) frequently occur in Hardy-Weinberg disequilibrium populations, statistical analysis of such associations has received little attention. In this article, we describe the joint distributions of zygotes at multiple loci, which are completely characterized by heterozygosities at individual loci and various multilocus zygotic associations. These zygotic associations are defined in the same fashion as the usual multilocus linkage (gametic) disequilibria on the basis of gametic and allelic frequencies. The estimation and test procedures are described with details being given for three loci. The sampling properties of the estimates are examined through Monte Carlo simulation. The estimates of three-locus associations are not free of bias due to the presence of two-locus associations and vice versa. The power of detecting the zygotic associations is small unless different loci are strongly associated and/or sample sizes are large (>100). The analysis of zygotic associations not only offers an effective means of packaging numerous genic disequilibria required for a complete characterization of multilocus structure, but also provides opportunities for making inference about evolutionary and demographic processes through a comparative assessment of zygotic association vs. gametic disequilibrium for the same set of loci in nonequilibrium populations.

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Selected References

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