Improving genetic methods that estimate migration rates

Estimates of migration are important for understanding and managing natural populations. A statistic known as FST is often used as a measure of the amount of genetic difference expected for a given population size and migration rate. Equations that translate FST into estimates of migration exist but the underlying ideal assumptions often do not apply. Now a new model has been used to test which factors affect FST in a real life example based on Atlantic cod. Results showed that knowledge of the effective population size and biology of the population of interest is sufficient to use theoretical equations to translate FST into a starting point for estimates of migration. The research was authored by Ingrid Spies of the QERM program at the University of Washington, and among the coauthors were SAFS professors Lorenz Hauser and Andre Punt. It was published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, USA

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