Estimation of the number of individuals founding colonized populations

Evolution. 2007 Apr;61(4):972-83. doi: 10.1111/j.1558-5646.2007.00080.x.


A method for estimating the number of founding chromosomes in an isolated population is introduced. The method assumes that n/2 diploid individuals are sampled from a population and that alleles are identified at L unlinked loci. The population is assumed to have been founded T generations in the past by individuals carrying c chromosomes drawn randomly from a known source population, which has also been sampled. If c is small and the population grew rapidly after it was founded, accurate estimates of c can be obtained and those estimates are not sensitive to details of the history of population sizes. If c is larger or the population remained small after it was founded, then estimates of c depend on the history of population sizes. We test the performance of our method on simulated data and demonstrate its use on data from a rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) population.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Chromosomes / genetics*
  • Computer Simulation
  • Evolution, Molecular*
  • Founder Effect*
  • Genetics, Population*
  • Models, Genetic*
  • Oncorhynchus mykiss / genetics
  • Population Density*
  • Population Dynamics
  • Time Factors