Original Paper

Tree Genetics & Genomes

, Volume 10, Issue 2, pp 273-285

First online:

Bayesian clustering analyses for genetic assignment and study of hybridization in oaks: effects of asymmetric phylogenies and asymmetric sampling schemes

  • Charalambos NeophytouAffiliated withForest Research Institute (FVA) Baden-Württemberg Email author 

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Bayesian clustering methods have been widely used for studying species delimitation and genetic introgression. In order to test the effect of phylogenetic relationships and sampling scheme on the inferred clustering solution and on the performance of Bayesian clustering analysis, I simulated genotypes of the interfertile oak species Quercus robur, Quercus petraea, and Quercus pubescens and I run analyses using two popular software programs, STRUCTURE and BAPS. First, based on purebred simulations, I compared clustering solutions resulting from different sample size configurations. While clustering solution generally reflected the taxonomic relationships when equal samples of each species were included, spurious partition was inferred by STRUCTURE when some species were represented by larger and others by smaller samples. In very unbalanced configurations, STRUCTURE failed to identify the three species, even if three subpopulations were assumed. By contrast, BAPS could properly identify the three species under any sampling scheme. Second, based on simulations of purebreds and hybrids, I tested the performance of individual assignments with variable number of loci. This analysis showed that STRUCTURE can detect introgressed individuals more efficiently than BAPS. However, BAPS could assign purebreds more efficiently with a lower number of loci. Method performance also depended on phylogenetic relationships. In the case of Q. petraea, Q. pubescens, and their hybrids, method performance was lower due to their phylogenetic affinity. Inclusion of three instead of two species into the analysis led to reduction of performance, and to misclassification of hybrids, which often reflected the phylogenetic affinity between Q. petraea and Q. pubescens.


Bayesian clustering Quercus BAPS STRUCTURE Simulation Microsatellites