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Keywords:

  • microsatellites;
  • parentage;
  • probability formulae

Three general formulae calibrate the average capability of marker systems to dispute falsely reported pedigree records in uniparous species. The most familiar exclusion formula applies to paternity, although the same formula applies equally to maternity. Another formula faults the relationship of a single offspring with its putative parent; for example, where the genotype of the other parent is not available. The remaining formula excludes both of the falsely recorded parents of a substituted offspring. Simplified forms of the three general formulae facilitate the calculation of maximal average exclusion values over a range of hypothetical markers. Allele frequency data on eight marker systems in horses provide practical examples. The exclusion values of the three formulae are compared.