Pairwise relatedness between animals is needed in conservation genetics. In absence of pedigrees, relatedness can only be estimated from molecular markers. Here we investigate the effects of population structure on performance of estimators and benefits of using them in conservation programs. A new relatedness estimator was compared with two existing estimators. Monte-Carlo simulation produced populations with either random mating or some structuring with known pedigree structure and molecular markers from which relatedness was estimated. Estimators were evaluated using statistical criteria and a diversity criterion that minimizes relatedness by optimal contributions. Results indicate that both ranking of estimators as well as benefit in conservation depends on the population structure.

P. A Oliehoek, J. J Windig, Piter Bijma

Proceedings of the World Congress on Genetics Applied to Livestock Production, Volume , , 30.05, 2006
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