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Genetics. Mar 2003; 163(3): 1177–1191.
PMCID: PMC1462502

Bayesian inference of recent migration rates using multilocus genotypes.


A new Bayesian method that uses individual multilocus genotypes to estimate rates of recent immigration (over the last several generations) among populations is presented. The method also estimates the posterior probability distributions of individual immigrant ancestries, population allele frequencies, population inbreeding coefficients, and other parameters of potential interest. The method is implemented in a computer program that relies on Markov chain Monte Carlo techniques to carry out the estimation of posterior probabilities. The program can be used with allozyme, microsatellite, RFLP, SNP, and other kinds of genotype data. We relax several assumptions of early methods for detecting recent immigrants, using genotype data; most significantly, we allow genotype frequencies to deviate from Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium proportions within populations. The program is demonstrated by applying it to two recently published microsatellite data sets for populations of the plant species Centaurea corymbosa and the gray wolf species Canis lupus. A computer simulation study suggests that the program can provide highly accurate estimates of migration rates and individual migrant ancestries, given sufficient genetic differentiation among populations and sufficient numbers of marker loci.

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Selected References

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