Using parentage analysis to examine gene flow and spatial genetic structure

Molecular Ecology
Nolan C Kane, Matthew G King


Numerous approaches have been developed to examine recent and historical gene flow between populations, but few studies have used empirical data sets to compare different approaches. Some methods are expected to perform better under particular scenarios, such as high or low gene flow, but this, too, has rarely been tested. In this issue of Molecular Ecology, Saenz-Agudelo et al. (2009) apply assignment tests and parentage analysis to microsatellite data from five geographically proximal (2-6 km) and one much more distant (1500 km) panda clownfish populations, showing that parentage analysis performed better in situations of high gene flow, while their assignment tests did better with low gene flow. This unusually complete data set is comprised of multiple exhaustively sampled populations, including nearly all adults and large numbers of juveniles, enabling the authors to ask questions that in many systems would be impossible to answer. Their results emphasize the importance of selecting the right analysis to use, based on the underlying model and how well its assumptions are met by the populations to be analysed.


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Sep 1, 1988·TAG. Theoretical and applied genetics. Theoretische und angewandte Genetik·B DevlinN C Ellstrand

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