PT - JOURNAL ARTICLE
AU - Jorde, Per Erik
AU - Ryman, Nils
TI - Unbiased Estimator for Genetic Drift and Effective Population Size
DP - 2007 Oct 01
TA - Genetics
PG - 927--935
VI - 177
IP - 2
4099 - http://www.genetics.org/content/177/2/927.short
4100 - http://www.genetics.org/content/177/2/927.full
SO - Genetics2007 Oct 01; 177
AB - Amounts of genetic drift and the effective size of populations can be estimated from observed temporal shifts in sample allele frequencies. Bias in this so-called temporal method has been noted in cases of small sample sizes and when allele frequencies are highly skewed. We characterize bias in commonly applied estimators under different sampling plans and propose an alternative estimator for genetic drift and effective size that weights alleles differently. Numerical evaluations of exact probability distributions and computer simulations verify that this new estimator yields unbiased estimates also when based on a modest number of alleles and loci. At the cost of a larger standard deviation, it thus eliminates the bias associated with earlier estimators. The new estimator should be particularly useful for microsatellite loci and panels of SNPs, representing a large number of alleles, many of which will occur at low frequencies.