Population genetic studies in nonmodel organisms are often hampered by a lack of reference genomes that are essential for whole-genome resequencing. In the light of this, genotyping methods have been developed to effectively eliminate the need for a reference genome, such as genotyping by sequencing or restriction site-associated DNA sequencing (RAD-seq). However, what remains relatively poorly studied is how accurately these methods capture both average and variation in genetic diversity across an organism's genome. In this issue of Molecular Ecology Resources, Dutoit et al. (2016) use whole-genome resequencing data from the collard flycatcher to assess what factors drive heterogeneity in nucleotide diversity across the genome. Using these data, they then simulate how well different sequencing designs, including RAD sequencing, could capture most of the variation in genetic diversity. They conclude that for evolutionary and conservation-related studies focused on the estimating genomic diversity, researchers should emphasize the number of loci analysed over the number of individuals sequenced.
Keywords: empirical; genetic variation; genome re-sequencing; genotyping; population genetics.
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