A retrospective assessment of the accuracy of the paternity inference program cervus


J. Slate. Present address: AgResearch, Invermay Agricultural Centre, Puddle Alley, Private Bag 50034, Mosgiel, New Zealand. Fax: 00 64 34899032; E-mail: Slatej@Agresearch.cri.nz


cervus is a Windows-based software package written to infer paternity in natural populations. It offers advantages over exclusionary-based methods of paternity inference in that multiple nonexcluded males can be statistically distinguished, laboratory typing error is considered and statistical confidence is determined for assigned paternities through simulation. In this study we use a panel of 84 microsatellite markers to retrospectively determine the accuracy of statistical confidence when cervus was used to infer paternity in a population of red deer (Cervus elaphus). The actual confidence of cervus-assigned paternities was not significantly different from that predicted by simulation.