Data from: Temporal dynamics of linkage disequilibrium in two populations of bighorn sheep
Miller, Joshua M. et al. (2016), Data from: Temporal dynamics of linkage disequilibrium in two populations of bighorn sheep, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.n2cj3
Linkage disequilibrium (LD) is the nonrandom association of alleles at two markers. Patterns of LD have biological implications as well as practical ones when designing association studies or conservation programs aimed at identifying the genetic basis of fitness differences within and among populations. However, the temporal dynamics of LD in wild populations has received little empirical attention. In this study, we examined the overall extent of LD, the effect of sample size on the accuracy and precision of LD estimates, and the temporal dynamics of LD in two populations of bighorn sheep (Ovis canadensis) with different demographic histories. Using over 200 microsatellite loci, we assessed two metrics of multi-allelic LD, D′, and χ′2. We found that both populations exhibited high levels of LD, although the extent was much shorter in a native population than one that was founded via translocation, experienced a prolonged bottleneck post founding, followed by recent admixture. In addition, we observed significant variation in LD in relation to the sample size used, with small sample sizes leading to depressed estimates of the extent of LD but inflated estimates of background levels of LD. In contrast, there was not much variation in LD among yearly cross-sections within either population once sample size was accounted for. Lack of pronounced interannual variability suggests that researchers may not have to worry about interannual variation when estimating LD in a population and can instead focus on obtaining the largest sample size possible.
Ram Mountain Alberta
National Bison Range Montana