Genetical Research

Research Article

Estimation of effective population size from data on linkage disequilibrium1

William G. Hilla1

a1 Department of Statistics, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, North Carolina 27650, U.S.A. and Institute of Animal Genetics, West Mains Road, Edinburgh EH9 3JN2


A method is proposed for estimating effective population size (N) from data on linkage disequilibrium among neutral genes at several polymorphic loci or restriction sites. The efficiency of the method increases with larger sample size and more tightly linked genes; but for very tightly linked genes estimates of N are more dependent on long-term than on recent population history. Two sets of data are analysed as examples.

(Received April 15 1980)

(Revised March 23 1981)


p1 Present address.


1 Paper No. 6428 of the Journal Series of the North Carolina Agricultural Research Service, Raleigh, North Carolina. This investigation was supported in part by NIH Research Grant No. GM 11546 from the National Institute of General Medical Sciences.