Most recent common ancestor probability distributions in gene genealogies under selection

Theor Popul Biol. 2000 Dec;58(4):291-305. doi: 10.1006/tpbi.2000.1488.


A computational study is made of the conditional probability distribution for the allelic type of the most recent common ancestor in genealogies of samples of n genes drawn from a population under selection, given the initial sample configuration. Comparisons with the corresponding unconditional cases are presented. Such unconditional distributions differ from samples drawn from the unique stationary distribution of population allelic frequencies, known as Wright's formula, and are quantified. Biallelic haploid and diploid models are considered. A simplified structure for the ancestral selection graph of S. M. Krone and C. Neuhauser (1997, Theor. Popul. Biol. 51, 210-237) is enhanced further, reducing the effective branching rate in the graph. This improves efficiency of such a nonneutral analogue of the coalescent for use with computational likelihood-inference techniques.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Validation Study

MeSH terms

  • Algorithms
  • Diploidy
  • Founder Effect*
  • Gene Frequency / genetics*
  • Genotype
  • Haploidy
  • Heterozygote
  • Likelihood Functions
  • Markov Chains
  • Models, Genetic*
  • Monte Carlo Method
  • Pedigree
  • Phylogeny*
  • Probability Theory*
  • Selection, Genetic*
  • Statistical Distributions*