SMILE

Stochastic Models for the Inference of Life Evolution

Testing for population decline using maximal linkage disequilibrium blocks

Kerdoncuff, E., Lambert, A., Achaz, G.

bioRxiv

2019

Only 6% of known species have a conservation status. Methods that assess conservation statuses are often based on individual counts and are thus too laborious to be generalized to all species. Population genomics methods that infer past variations in population size are easy to use but limited to the relatively distant past. Here we propose a population genomics approach that tests for recent population decline and may be used to assess species conservation statuses. More specifically, we study Maximal Recombination Free (MRF) blocks, that are segments of a sequence alignment inherited from a common ancestor without recombination. MRF blocks are relatively longer in small than in large populations. We use the distribution of MRF block lengths rescaled by their mean to test for recent population decline. However, because MRF blocks are difficult to detect, we also consider Maximal Linkage Disequilibrium (MLD) blocks, which are runs of single nucleotide polymorphisms compatible with a single tree. We develop a new method capable of inferring a very recent decline (e.g. with a detection power of 50% for populations which size was halved to N, 0.05×N generations ago) from rescaled MLD block lengths. Our framework could serve as a basis for quantitative tools to assess conservation status in a wide range of species.

Bibtex

@article{EKALGA2019MRF_MLD,
author = {Kerdoncuff, Elise and Lambert, Amaury and Achaz, Guillaume},
title = {Testing for population decline using maximal linkage disequilibrium blocks},
doi = {10.1101/703595},
abstract = {Only 6% of known species have a conservation status. Methods that assess conservation statuses are often based on individual counts and are thus too laborious to be generalized to all species. Population genomics methods that infer past variations in population size are easy to use but limited to the relatively distant past. Here we propose a population genomics approach that tests for recent population decline and may be used to assess species conservation statuses. More specifically, we study Maximal Recombination Free (MRF) blocks, that are segments of a sequence alignment inherited from a common ancestor without recombination. MRF blocks are relatively longer in small than in large populations. We use the distribution of MRF block lengths rescaled by their mean to test for recent population decline. However, because MRF blocks are difficult to detect, we also consider Maximal Linkage Disequilibrium (MLD) blocks, which are runs of single nucleotide polymorphisms compatible with a single tree. We develop a new method capable of inferring a very recent decline (e.g. with a detection power of 50% for populations which size was halved to N, 0.05×N generations ago) from rescaled MLD block lengths. Our framework could serve as a basis for quantitative tools to assess conservation status in a wide range of species.
},
journal = {bioRxiv},
year = {2019},
url = {https://www.biorxiv.org/content/10.1101/703595v1}
}

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