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A method of estimating the selfing rate using DNA sequence data was recently proposed by Milligan. Unfortunately, a number of errors make interpretation of his results problematic. In the present paper we first show how the usual coalescent process can be adapted to models that include selfing, and then use this result to find moment estimators as well as the likelihood surface for the selfing rate, s, and the scaled mutation rate, theta. We conclude that, regardless of the method used, large sample sizes are necessary to estimate s with any degree of certainty, and that the estimate is always highly sensitive to recent changes in the true value.

Type

Journal article

Journal

Genetics

Publication Date

07/1997

Volume

146

Pages

1185 - 1195

Addresses

Department of Ecology and Evolution, University of Chicago, Illinois 60637-1573, USA. magnus@darwin.uchicago.edu

Keywords

DNA, Fertilization, Mathematical Computing, Models, Genetic, Computer Simulation