The Analysis of Genetic Variation Using Migration Matrices

  • Walter Bodmer
  • L. L. Cavalli-Sforza


One of the main aims of the population geneticist is to try to account for observed variations in gene and genotype frequencies over both time and space. Most populations are distributed irregularly in any given geographic area. Population sizes are often small enough so that, when variation over a relatively small geographic area is considered, simple deterministic models to account for the observed genetic variation are unsatisfactory because they ignore fluctuations due to random genetic drift. Though population sizes may be small, it is, nevertheless, rare for any given population to be sufficiently isolated from all others so that migration can be neglected. Even quite low levels of migration between relatively isolated populations may have very significant effects in counteracting divergence between them due to random fluctuations. Models to account for genetic variation observed in restricted geographic areas must, therefore, take into account population subdivisions of the area being studied and rates of migration between these subdivisions.


Gene Frequency Migration Pattern Central African Republic Random Genetic Drift Angular Transformation 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1974

Authors and Affiliations

  • Walter Bodmer
    • 1
    • 2
  • L. L. Cavalli-Sforza
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Genetics Laboratory, Department of BiochemistryUniversity of OxfordGreat Britain
  2. 2.Genetics DepartmentStanford University Medical SchoolStanfordUSA

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