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Multiple paternity: determining the minimum number of sires of a large brood

Journal article
Authors Anders Eriksson
Bernhard Mehlig
Marina Panova
Carl André
Kerstin Johannesson
Published in Molecular Ecology Resources
Volume 10
Issue 2
Pages 282-291
ISSN 1755-098X
Publication year 2010
Published at Department of Marine Ecology, Tjärnö Marine Biological Laboratory
Linnaeus Centre for Marine Evolutionary Biology (CEMEB)
Department of Physics (GU)
Department of Marine Ecology
Pages 282-291
Language en
Links dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1755-0998.2009...
Keywords combinatorial optimization, littorina, microsatellite DNA, multiple paternity
Subject categories Biological Sciences

Abstract

We describe an efficient algorithm for determining exactly the minimum number of sires consistent with the multi-locus genotypes of a mother and her progeny. We consider cases where a simple exhaustive search through all possible sets of sires is impossible in practice because it would take too long to complete. Our algorithm for solving this combinatorial optimization problem avoids visiting large parts of search space that would not result in a solution with fewer sires. This improvement is of particular importance when the number of allelic types in the progeny array is large and when the minimum number of sires is expected to be large. Precisely in such cases, it is important to know the minimum number of sires: this number gives an exact bound on the most likely number of sires estimated by a random search algorithm in a parameter region where it may be difficult to determine whether it has converged. We apply our algorithm to data from the marine snail, Littorina saxatilis.

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