How effective is recognition of siblings on the basis of genotype?
Article first published online: 9 JUL 2009
© 2009 The Authors. Journal Compilation © 2009 European Society For Evolutionary Biology
Journal of Evolutionary Biology
Volume 22, Issue 9, pages 1875–1881, September 2009
How to Cite
PATERSON, S. and HURST, J. L. (2009), How effective is recognition of siblings on the basis of genotype?. Journal of Evolutionary Biology, 22: 1875–1881. doi: 10.1111/j.1420-9101.2009.01796.x
- Issue published online: 19 AUG 2009
- Article first published online: 9 JUL 2009
- Received 30 March 2009; revised 2 June 2009; accepted 5 June 2009
- kin recognition
The ability to recognize kin based on genetic markers has been widely proposed as a mechanism to facilitate altruistic behaviour and inbreeding avoidance. Siblings are an important group of relatives to discriminate from unrelated individuals but present a problem, because siblings can share 0, 1 or 2 alleles at any single recognition locus. Here, we present a Bayesian model of kin recognition that defines the potential for genotypic information to convey kinship. Under the direct comparison model, where the signaller’s genotype is compared with that of the receiver, the odds ratio that a pair of individuals were siblings was substantially increased if they shared both alleles at a single locus, but only a minority of siblings were recognized; increasing the number of recognition loci used could not increase both the odds ratio and the proportion of siblings recognized. A maternal comparison model, where the signaller’s genotype is compared with that of the receiver’s mother, performed poorly when only a single recognition locus was considered, but became increasingly effective with more recognition loci. Nevertheless, incorporating partial-matching information across multiple, independent loci are likely to be difficult. Further empirical work needs to establish the mechanistic basis of genetic kin recognition used by different taxa.