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J Comput Biol. 2007 Sep;14(7):950-60.

Note on the computation of critical effective population sizes.

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Department of Computer Science, Virginia Polytechnic Institute & State University, Blacksburg, Virginia 24061, USA.


This work extends the work of Whitlock in examining the critical effective population sizes from the fixation of both deleterious and beneficial mutations under drift and selection to prevent mutation breakdown of the population. The validity of approximations for the probability of fixation depends on the nature of the assumed distribution for the fitness effect of both types of mutations. Using no approximation for the probability of fixation and assuming a heavy tailed fitness effect distribution, the current model indicates that the coefficients of variation for the fitness effect distributions of both types of mutations and the fitness effect distribution mean for the beneficial mutations are important predictors of the critical effective population size. The current model further predicts that very small populations can be sustained if the fitness effect variances for both types of mutations and the mean for beneficial mutations are large.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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