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Nat Rev Genet. 2006 Oct;7(10):771-80.

Genetic relatedness analysis: modern data and new challenges.

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Department of Biostatistics, University of Washington, BOX 357232, Seattle, Washington 98195-7232, USA.


Individuals who belong to the same family or the same population are related because of their shared ancestry. Population and quantitative genetics theory is built with parameters that describe relatedness, and the estimation of these parameters from genetic markers enables progress in fields as disparate as plant breeding, human disease gene mapping and forensic science. The large number of multiallelic microsatellite loci and biallelic SNPs that are now available have markedly increased the precision with which relationships can be estimated, although they have also revealed unexpected levels of genomic heterogeneity of relationship measures.

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