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Data from: Comparing direct and indirect selfing rate estimates: when are population-structure estimates reliable?


Buerkli, Anja; Sieber, Natalie; Seppälä, Katri; Jokela, Jukka (2017), Data from: Comparing direct and indirect selfing rate estimates: when are population-structure estimates reliable?, Dryad, Dataset,


The rate of self-fertilization (that is, selfing) is a key evolutionary parameter in hermaphroditic species, yet obtaining accurate estimates of selfing rates in natural populations can be technically challenging. Most published estimates are derived from population-level heterozygote deficiency (that is, FIS) or identity disequilibria (for example, the software RMES (robust multilocus estimate of selfing)). These indirect methods can be applied to population genetic survey data, whereas direct methods using progeny arrays require much larger data sets that are often difficult to collect in natural populations or even require captive breeding. Unfortunately, indirect methods rely on assumptions that can be problematic, such as negating biparental inbreeding, inbreeding disequilibrium and (for FIS) the presence of null alleles. The performance of indirect estimates against progeny-array estimates is still largely unknown. Here we used both direct progeny-array and indirect population-level methods to estimate the selfing rate in a single natural population of the simultaneously hermaphroditic freshwater snail Radix balthica throughout its reproductive lifespan using 10 highly polymorphic microsatellites. We found that even though progeny arrays (n=1034 field-collected embryos from 60 families) did not reveal a single selfed embryo, FIS-based selfing rates (n=316 adults) were significantly positive in all 6 sequential population samples. Including a locus with a high frequency of null alleles further biased FIS-based estimates. Conversely, RMES-based estimates were very similar to progeny-array estimates and proved insensitive to null alleles. The assumptions made by RMES were thus either met or irrelevant in this particular population, making RMES a valid, cost-efficient alternative to progeny arrays.

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