Simple method for analyzing the pattern of DNA polymorphism and its application to SNP data of human

Genes Genet Syst. 2008 Aug;83(4):353-60. doi: 10.1266/ggs.83.353.


In order to analyze the pattern of DNA polymorphism in detail, we have developed a simple method using a new statistic theta(i) which estimates 4Nmu from the number of segregating sites whose allelic nucleotide frequency is i/n among n DNA sequences, where N is the effective population size and mu is the mutation rate per generation per nucleotide site. Under the assumption that mutations are selectively neutral and a population size is constant, the expectation of theta(i) is equal to that of theta, which estimates 4Nmu from the number of segregating sites, so that the distribution of theta(i) is flat. Therefore, the departure of the distribution of theta(i) from the horizontal line, which represents the value of theta, reflects change in population size and natural selection. Results of the coalescent simulation show that the distributions of theta(i) in the populations which experienced expansion and reduction are U-shaped and upside-down U-shaped, respectively. And the distributions of theta(i) in some populations that experienced bottleneck are W-shaped. Furthermore, we have applied this method to the SNP data in the International HapMap Project. Results of data analyses show that the distributions of theta(i) in the CEU (European), CHB and JPT (Asian) populations are different from that in the YRI population (African). From these results of data analyses in nuclear DNA and the pattern of polymorphism in human mitochondrial DNA already known, we infer that the CEU, CHB and JPT populations experienced the bottleneck.

Publication types

  • Evaluation Study

MeSH terms

  • Cell Nucleus / genetics
  • Computer Simulation
  • DNA Mutational Analysis / methods*
  • Databases, Genetic*
  • Gene Frequency
  • Genes, Mitochondrial / genetics
  • Genetics, Population
  • Humans
  • Polymorphism, Genetic*
  • Polymorphism, Single Nucleotide*
  • Population Groups / genetics