The use of microsatellite variation to infer population structure and demographic history in a natural model system

David B. Goldstein, Gary W. Roemer, Deborah A. Smith, David E. Reich, Aviv Bergman, Robert K. Wayne

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

121 Scopus citations

Abstract

To assess the reliability of genetic markers it is important to compare inferences that are based on them to a priori expectations. In this article we present an analysis of microsatellite variation within and among populations of island foxes (Urocyon littoralis) on California's Channel Islands. We first show that microsatellite variation at a moderate number of loci (19) can provide an essentially perfect description of the boundaries between populations and an accurate representation of their historical relationships. We also show that the pattern of variation across unlinked microsatellite loci can be used to test whether population size has been constant or increasing. Application of these approaches to the island fox system indicates that microsatellite variation may carry considerably more information about population history than in currently being used.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)797-801
Number of pages5
JournalGenetics
Volume151
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1 1999
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics

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    Goldstein, D. B., Roemer, G. W., Smith, D. A., Reich, D. E., Bergman, A., & Wayne, R. K. (1999). The use of microsatellite variation to infer population structure and demographic history in a natural model system. Genetics, 151(2), 797-801.