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Estimating Relatedness Using Genetic Markers

David C. Queller and Keith F. Goodnight
Evolution
Vol. 43, No. 2 (Mar., 1989), pp. 258-275
DOI: 10.2307/2409206
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2409206
Page Count: 18
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Estimating Relatedness Using Genetic Markers
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Abstract

A new method is described for estimating genetic relatedness from genetic markers such as protein polymorphisms. It is based on Grafen's (1985) relatedness coefficient and is most easily interpreted in terms of identity by descent rather than as a genetic regression. It has several advantages over methods currently in use: it eliminates a downward bias for small sample sizes; it improves estimation of relatedness for subsets of population samples; and it allows estimation of relatedness for a single group or for a single pair of individuals. Individual estimates of relatedness tend to be highly variable but, in aggregate, can still be very useful as data for nonparametric tests. Such tests allow testing for differences in relatedness between two samples or for correlating individual relatedness values with another variable.

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