Various genetic map functions have been proposed to infer the unobservable genetic distance between two loci from the observable recombination fraction between them. Some map functions were found to fit data better than others. When there are more than three markers, multilocus recombination probabilities cannot be uniquely determined by the defining property of map functions, and different methods have been proposed to permit the use of map functions to analyze multilocus data. If for a given map function, there is a probability model for recombination that can give rise to it, then joint recombination probabilities can be deduced from this model. This provides another way to use map functions in multilocus analysis. In this paper we show that stationary renewal processes give rise to most of the map functions in the literature. Furthermore, we show that the interevent distributions of these renewal processes can all be approximated quite well by gamma distributions.

  • Received June 12, 1995.
  • Accepted December 20, 1995.