Admixture and patterns of linkage disequilibrium in a free-living vertebrate population
Article first published online: 16 APR 2007
Journal of Evolutionary Biology
Volume 20, Issue 4, pages 1415–1427, July 2007
How to Cite
SLATE, J. and PEMBERTON, J. M. (2007), Admixture and patterns of linkage disequilibrium in a free-living vertebrate population. Journal of Evolutionary Biology, 20: 1415–1427. doi: 10.1111/j.1420-9101.2007.01339.x
- Issue published online: 20 APR 2007
- Article first published online: 16 APR 2007
- Received 17 October 2006; revised 12 February 2007; accepted 15 February 2007
- association mapping;
- gametic disequilibrium;
- gene mapping;
- natural population.
Linkage disequilibrium (LD), a measure of nonrandom association of alleles at different loci, is of great interest to evolutionary geneticists as it can be used to help identify loci that explain phenotypic variation. Surveys of the extent of LD across genomes have been carried out in a number of systems, most notably humans and model organisms. However, studies of natural populations of vertebrates have rarely been performed. Here, we describe an investigation of LD in a free-living island population of red deer Cervus elaphus. Relatively high levels of LD extended several tens of centimorgans, and significant LD was frequently detected between unlinked markers. The magnitude of LD varied depending on how the population was sampled. It also varied across different chromosomes, and was shown to be a function of sample size, intermarker distance and marker heterozygosity. A recent admixture event in the population led to an ephemeral increase in LD. Association mapping may be possible in this population, although a high ‘baseline’ level of LD could lead to false positive associations between marker loci and a trait of interest.