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Nat Rev Genet. 2006 Oct;7(10):745-58. Epub 2006 Aug 22.

Computer programs for population genetics data analysis: a survival guide.

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  • 1Computational and Molecular Population Genetics Laboratory, Zoological Institute, University of Berne, Baltzerstrasse 6, 3012 Berne, Switzerland. laurent.excoffier@zoo.unibe.ch


The analysis of genetic diversity within species is vital for understanding evolutionary processes at the population level and at the genomic level. A large quantity of data can now be produced at an unprecedented rate, requiring the use of dedicated computer programs to extract all embedded information. Several statistical packages have been recently developed, which offer a panel of standard and more sophisticated analyses. We describe here the functionalities, special features and assumptions of more than 20 such programs, indicate how they can interoperate, and discuss new directions that could lead to improved software and analyses.

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