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Genetics. 2009 Mar;181(3):1021-33. doi: 10.1534/genetics.108.095364. Epub 2008 Dec 22.

Multilocus patterns of nucleotide diversity, population structure and linkage disequilibrium in Boechera stricta, a wild relative of Arabidopsis.

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Institute for Genome Sciences and Policy, Department of Biology, Duke University, Durham, North Carolina 27708, USA.


Information about polymorphism, population structure, and linkage disequilibrium (LD) is crucial for association studies of complex trait variation. However, most genomewide studies have focused on model systems, with very few analyses of undisturbed natural populations. Here, we sequenced 86 mapped nuclear loci for a sample of 46 genotypes of Boechera stricta and two individuals of B. holboellii, both wild relatives of Arabidopsis. Isolation by distance was significant across the species range of B. stricta, and three geographic groups were identified by structure analysis, principal coordinates analysis, and distance-based phylogeny analyses. The allele frequency spectrum indicated a genomewide deviation from an equilibrium neutral model, with silent nucleotide diversity averaging 0.004. LD decayed rapidly, declining to background levels in approximately 10 kb or less. For tightly linked SNPs separated by <1 kb, LD was dependent on the reference population. LD was lower in the specieswide sample than within populations, suggesting that low levels of LD found in inbreeding species such as B. stricta, Arabidopsis thaliana, and barley may result from broad geographic sampling that spans heterogeneous genetic groups. Finally, analyses also showed that inbreeding B. stricta and A. thaliana have approximately 45% higher recombination per kilobase than outcrossing A. lyrata.

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