Hotel Estoril Eden, Monte Estoril,
5-8 October 2005



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stimators of molecular polymorphism using phylogentic information

Samara F. Kiihla, Hildete P. Pinheiroa, Aluísio Pinheiroa, Sérgio F. dos Reisb
a Departamento de Estatística, UNICAMP - SP, Brazil
b Departamento de Parasitologia, UNICAMP - SP, Brazil

Genetic variation at the nucleotide level is a powerful source of information for studying the evolution of a population. Important aspects of the evolution of a population have been investigated by using nucleotide sequences. The quantity q = 4Nn, with N being the effective size of the population and n the mutation rate per sequence (gene, locus) per generation, is an essential parameter because it determines the degree of polymorphism at the locus. The degree of success in our inference about the evolution of a population is measured to some extent by the accuracy of estimation of this essential parameter. The evolution of a species can be seen through a phylogenetic tree and a linear model can be constructed by using the phylogenetic information to estimate q. It has been verified that the use of such information leads us to more accurate estimators of q. This work presents some methods of estimation of this parameter, comparisons between these methods through computational simulations and applications to real data.