The relationship between linkage disequilibrium (LD) and recombination fraction can be used to infer the pattern of genetic variation and evolutionary process in humans and other systems. We described a computational framework to construct a linkage-LD map from commonly used biallelic, single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) markers for outcrossing plants by which the decline of LD is visualized with genetic distance. The framework was derived from an open-pollinated (OP) design composed of plants randomly sampled from a natural population and seeds from each sampled plant, enabling simultaneous estimation of the LD in the natural population and recombination fraction due to allelic co-segregation during meiosis. We modified the framework to infer evolutionary pasts of natural populations using those marker types that are segregating in a dominant manner, given their role in creating and maintaining population genetic diversity. A sophisticated two-level EM algorithm was implemented to estimate and retrieve the missing information of segregation characterized by dominant-segregating markers such as single methylation polymorphisms. The model was applied to study the relationship between linkage and LD for a non-model outcrossing species, a gymnosperm species, Torreya grandis, naturally distributed in mountains of the southeastern China. The linkage-LD map constructed from various types of molecular markers opens a powerful gateway for studying the history of plant evolution.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Molecular Biology