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RAPD/infinite allele model

Hans Stenöien hans.stenoien at vm.unit.no
Fri Jul 25 01:49:53 EST 1997


I'm doing a population genetic analysis on selected mosses using RAPD
and allozyme markers. In an ideal world I would be interested in using
Nei's (1978) genetic distance D in order to estimate the mutation rate u
given a specific time t since divergence for two populations (D=2ut;
that is: u=D/2t, see e.g. Nei 1987 or Weir 1996). One of the assumptions
in this model is that all new mutations are different from extant
alleles in the populations (the infinite alleles mutation model). This
does not look like an appropriate genetic model for interpreting RAPD
bands, because each locus per definition contains no more than 2
alleles. However, the infinite alleles model have been assumed in
several studies using allozyme markers. Can anybody tell me why it is
reasonable to assume that all new mutations in amino-acid coding
sequences leads to qualitatively new allozyme alleles? When allozymes
can be interpreted as "infinite alleles", are there also ways to fit the
infinite alleles model to RAPD data?

I would appreciate any help.
Thank you.

Hans Stenøien
Botanical dept.
Norwegian University of Science & Technology
N-7004 Trondheim
hans.stenoien at vm.ntnu.no

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