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Detecting selection-induced departures from Hardy-Weinberg proportions

By Joseph Lachance


Viability selection influences the genotypic contexts of alleles and leads to quantifiable departures from Hardy-Weinberg proportions. One measure of these departures is Wright's inbreeding coefficient (F), where observed heterozygosity is compared with expected heterozygosity. Here, I extend population genetics theory to describe post-selection genotype frequencies in terms of post-selection allele frequencies and fitness dominance. The resulting equations correspond to non-equilibrium populations, allowing the following questions to be addressed: When selection is present, how large a sample size is needed to detect significant departures from Hardy-Weinberg? How do selection-induced departures from Hardy-Weinberg vary with allele frequencies and levels of fitness dominance? For realistic selection coefficients, large sample sizes are required and departures from Hardy-Weinberg proportions are small

Topics: Research
Publisher: BioMed Central
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