Genetical Research

Research Article

The distribution of the fraction of the genome identical by descent in finite random mating populations

P. Stama1

a1 Department of Genetics, Agricultural University, 53 Generaal Foulkesweg, 6703 BM, Wageningen, The Netherlands


The probability distribution of the heterogenic (non-identical by descent) fraction of the genome in a finite monoecious random mating population has been derived. It was assumed that in any generation the length of both heterogenic and homogenic segments are exponentially distributed. An explicit expression is given for the expected number of ‘external junctions’ (sites that mark the end of a heterogenic segment) per unit map length in any generation. The latter necessitates the introduction of two higher-order identity relations between three genes, and their recurrence relations. Theoretical results were compared with the outcome of a series of simulation runs (showing a very good fit), as well as with the results predicted by Fisher's ‘theory of junctions’. In contrast to Fisher's approach, which only applies when the average heterogeneity is relatively small, the present model applies to any generation.

(Received August 30 1979)