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Genetics. 1993 Jun;134(2):659-69.

A cladistic analysis of phenotypic associations with haplotypes inferred from restriction endonuclease mapping. IV. Nested analyses with cladogram uncertainty and recombination.

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Department of Biology, Washington University, St. Louis, Missouri 63130.


We previously developed an analytical strategy based on cladistic theory to identify subsets of haplotypes that are associated with significant phenotypic deviations. Our initial approach was limited to segments of DNA in which little recombination occurs. In such cases, a cladogram can be constructed from the restriction site data to estimate the evolutionary steps that interrelate the observed haplotypes to one another. The cladogram is then used to define a nested statistical design for identifying mutational steps associated with significant phenotypic deviations. The central assumption behind this strategy is that a mutation responsible for a particular phenotypic effect is embedded within the evolutionary history that is represented by the cladogram. The power of this approach depends on the accuracy of the cladogram in portraying the evolutionary history of the DNA region. This accuracy can be diminished both by recombination and by uncertainty in the estimated cladogram topology. In a previous paper, we presented an algorithm for estimating the set of likely claodgrams and recombination events. In this paper we present an algorithm for defining a nested statistical design under cladogram uncertainty and recombination. Given the nested design, phenotypic associations can be examined using either a nested analysis of variance (for haploids or homozygous strains) or permutation testing (for outcrossed, diploid gene regions). In this paper we also extend this analytical strategy to include categorical phenotypes in addition to quantitative phenotypes. Some worked examples are presented using Drosophila data sets. These examples illustrate that having some recombination may actually enhance the biological inferences that may derived from a cladistic analysis. In particular, recombination can be used to assign a physical localization to a given subregion for mutations responsible for significant phenotypic effects.

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