NM+: software implementing parentage-based models for estimating gene dispersal and mating patterns in plants


Igor J. Chybicki. Fax: (+48) 52 3419281; E-mail: igorchy@ukw.edu.pl


NM+ is computer software designed for making inferences on plant gene dispersal and mating patterns by modelling parentage probabilities of offspring based on the spatially explicit neighbourhood model. NM+ requires a sample of mapped and genotyped candidate parents and offspring; however, offspring may optionally be assigned to single maternal parents (forming so-called half-sib progeny arrays). Using maximum likelihood, NM+ estimates a number of parameters, including proportions of offspring due to self-fertilization, pollen immigration from outside of a defined study site, parameters of pollen (and/or seed) dispersal kernels (exponential-power, Weibull, geometric or 2Dt) and selection gradients relating covariates (phenotypic traits) with male (and/or female) reproductive success. NM+ allows for missing data both in parents and in offspring. It accounts for null alleles and their frequencies can optionally be considered as estimable parameters. Data files are formatted in a table-like structure so they can be easily prepared in a spreadsheet software. By default NM+ is for studying plant populations, however, it can be used for any organism as long as data requirements and model assumptions are met. NM+ runs under Windows, but it can be launched under Linux using WINE emulator. NM+ can be downloaded free of charge from http://www.genetyka.ukw.edu.pl/index_pliki/software.htm.