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Estimating selfing rates from reconstructed pedigrees using multilocus genotype data


Jinliang Wang, Fax: 0044 20 75862870; E-mail:


Several methods have been developed to estimate the selfing rate of a population from a sample of individuals genotyped for several marker loci. These methods can be based on homozygosity excess (or inbreeding), identity disequilibrium, progeny array (PA) segregation or population assignment incorporating partial selfing. Progeny array–based method is generally the best because it is not subject to some assumptions made by other methods (such as lack of misgenotyping, absence of biparental inbreeding and presence of inbreeding equilibrium), and it can reveal other facets of a mixed-mating system such as patterns of shared paternity. However, in practice, it is often difficult to obtain PAs, especially for animal species. In this study, we propose a method to reconstruct the pedigree of a sample of individuals taken from a monoecious diploid population practicing mixed mating, using multilocus genotypic data. Selfing and outcrossing events are then detected when an individual derives from identical parents and from two distinct parents, respectively. Selfing rate is estimated by the proportion of selfed offspring in the reconstructed pedigree of a sample of individuals. The method enjoys many advantages of the PA method, but without the need of a priori family structure, although such information, if available, can be utilized to improve the inference. Furthermore, the new method accommodates genotyping errors, estimates allele frequencies jointly and is robust to the presence of biparental inbreeding and inbreeding disequilibrium. Both simulated and empirical data were analysed by the new and previous methods to compare their statistical properties and accuracies.

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