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Theor Popul Biol. 2007 May;71(3):332-41. Epub 2007 Feb 4.

The genetical bandwidth mapping: a spatial and graphical representation of population genetic structure based on the Wombling method.

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TIMC, Institut National Polytechnique de Grenoble, UJF-CNRS UMR 5525, TIMB Faculté de Médecine, F38706 La Tronche, France.


Characterizing the spatial variation of allele frequencies in a population has a wide range of applications in population genetics. This article introduces a new nonparametric method, which provides a two-dimensional representation of a structural parameter called the genetical bandwidth, which describes genetic structure around arbitrary spatial locations in a study area. This parameter corresponds to the shortest distance to areas of significant allele variation, and its computation is based on the Womble's systemic function. A simulation study and application to data sets taken from the literature give evidence that the method is particularly demonstrative when the fine-scale structure is stronger than the large-scale structure, and that it is generally able to locate genetic boundaries or clines precisely.

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