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Logo of gseBioMed CentralBiomed Central Web Sitesearchsubmit a manuscriptregisterthis articleGenetics, Selection, Evolution : GSEJournal Front Page
Genet Sel Evol. 2008; 40(4): 359–378.
Published online 2008 July 15. doi:  10.1186/1297-9686-40-4-359
PMCID: PMC2674907

Individual increase in inbreeding allows estimating effective sizes from pedigrees


We present here a simple approach to obtain reliable estimates of the effective population size in real world populations via the computation of the increase in inbreeding for each individual (delta Fi) in a given population. The values of delta Fi are computed as t-root of 1 - (1 - Fi) where Fi is the inbreeding coefficient and t is the equivalent complete generations for each individual. The values of delta F computed for a pre-defined reference subset can be averaged and used to estimate effective size. A standard error of this estimate of Ne can be further computed from the standard deviation of the individual increase in inbreeding. The methodology is demonstrated by applying it to several simulated examples and to a real pedigree in which other methodologies fail when considering reference subpopulations. The main characteristics of the approach and its possible use are discussed both for predictive purposes and for analyzing genealogies.

Keywords: effective size, increase in inbreeding, overlapped generation, genetic contribution

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