6/23/2006

Field page: Population Genetics

Description

Population genetics concerns the application of mathematical and statistical techniques to the DNA of groups of organisms. As with bioinformatics, there's no real interest in what the sequence does; rather, the focus is on what the distribution of sequences in a taxon signifies about that taxon's evolutionary past.

The primary outcome of population genetics is to produce what is known as a coalescent - a diagram of how the taxon evolved based on its DNA. Ideally, this would correlate well with any fossil evidence of said evolution. Achieving this is surprisingly difficult, and a vast number of different models have been proposed for each and every aspect of the process.

Problem Solved

So, we've got sequence information from a number of organisms - now how do they relate to each other?

Books/Resources

"Population Genetics: a concise guide" - John H. Gillespie (very well-written). Only partially read.
This thread at Gene Expression contains a lot of useful book suggestions that I'll have to try out.

Posts

The Hardy-Weinberg law
Genetic Drift simulation
Genetic drift and the Neutral Theory
Eyes on the future: Dawg
Hardy-Weinberg under stress
The merits of models
How much is too much?
A cry for help
A last gift

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