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Multilocus estimation of pairwise relatedness with dominant markers


Kermit Ritland, Fax: 604-822-9102; E-mail:


Estimators for pairwise relatedness designed for dominant markers are derived, based on a genetic model that accounts for the full structure of pairwise relatedness between two individuals at a diploid locus with dominance. They jointly estimate ‘relatedness’ and ‘fraternity’, in which case the estimators are inherently multilocus, as at least two loci of differing gene frequency are required. Extensions to cases of zero fraternity and isolation by distance (inbreeding) are also examined. Properties of estimators are examined by simulation and compared to the estimator of Hardy. The most statistical power for pairwise relatedness occurs when roughly half of individuals are the recessive phenotype. Estimation procedures are implemented in the computer program mark.