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      Population‐level inferences from environmental DNA—Current status and future perspectives

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          Environmental DNA (eDNA) extracted from water samples has recently shown potential as a valuable source of population genetic information for aquatic macroorganisms. This approach offers several potential advantages compared with conventional tissue‐based methods, including the fact that eDNA sampling is noninvasive and generally more cost‐efficient. Currently, eDNA approaches have been limited to single‐marker studies of mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA), and the relationship between eDNA haplotype composition and true haplotype composition still needs to be thoroughly verified. This will require testing of bioinformatic and statistical software to correct for erroneous sequences, as well as biases and random variation in relative sequence abundances. However, eDNA‐based population genetic methods have far‐reaching potential for both basic and applied research. In this paper, we present a brief overview of the achievements of eDNA‐based population genetics to date, and outline the prospects for future developments in the field, including the estimation of nuclear DNA (nuDNA) variation and epigenetic information. We discuss the challenges associated with eDNA samples as opposed to those of individual tissue samples and assess whether eDNA might offer additional types of information unobtainable with tissue samples. Lastly, we provide recommendations for determining whether an eDNA approach would be a useful and suitable choice in different research settings. We limit our discussion largely to contemporary aquatic systems, but the advantages, challenges, and perspectives can to a large degree be generalized to eDNA studies with a different spatial and temporal focus.

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          Genome sequence of the nematode C. elegans: a platform for investigating biology.

           James Mussell (1999)
          The 97-megabase genomic sequence of the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans reveals over 19,000 genes. More than 40 percent of the predicted protein products find significant matches in other organisms. There is a variety of repeated sequences, both local and dispersed. The distinctive distribution of some repeats and highly conserved genes provides evidence for a regional organization of the chromosomes.
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            Molecular signatures of natural selection.

            There is an increasing interest in detecting genes, or genomic regions, that have been targeted by natural selection. The interest stems from a basic desire to learn more about evolutionary processes in humans and other organisms, and from the realization that inferences regarding selection may provide important functional information. This review provides a nonmathematical description of the issues involved in detecting selection from DNA sequences and SNP data and is intended for readers who are not familiar with population genetic theory. Particular attention is placed on issues relating to the analysis of large-scale genomic data sets.
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              What is a population? An empirical evaluation of some genetic methods for identifying the number of gene pools and their degree of connectivity.

              We review commonly used population definitions under both the ecological paradigm (which emphasizes demographic cohesion) and the evolutionary paradigm (which emphasizes reproductive cohesion) and find that none are truly operational. We suggest several quantitative criteria that might be used to determine when groups of individuals are different enough to be considered 'populations'. Units for these criteria are migration rate (m) for the ecological paradigm and migrants per generation (Nm) for the evolutionary paradigm. These criteria are then evaluated by applying analytical methods to simulated genetic data for a finite island model. Under the standard parameter set that includes L = 20 High mutation (microsatellite-like) loci and samples of S = 50 individuals from each of n = 4 subpopulations, power to detect departures from panmixia was very high ( approximately 100%; P < 0.001) even with high gene flow (Nm = 25). A new method, comparing the number of correct population assignments with the random expectation, performed as well as a multilocus contingency test and warrants further consideration. Use of Low mutation (allozyme-like) markers reduced power more than did halving S or L. Under the standard parameter set, power to detect restricted gene flow below a certain level X (H(0): Nm < X) can also be high, provided that true Nm < or = 0.5X. Developing the appropriate test criterion, however, requires assumptions about several key parameters that are difficult to estimate in most natural populations. Methods that cluster individuals without using a priori sampling information detected the true number of populations only under conditions of moderate or low gene flow (Nm < or = 5), and power dropped sharply with smaller samples of loci and individuals. A simple algorithm based on a multilocus contingency test of allele frequencies in pairs of samples has high power to detect the true number of populations even with Nm = 25 but requires more rigorous statistical evaluation. The ecological paradigm remains challenging for evaluations using genetic markers, because the transition from demographic dependence to independence occurs in a region of high migration where genetic methods have relatively little power. Some recent theoretical developments and continued advances in computational power provide hope that this situation may change in the future.

                Author and article information

                Evol Appl
                Evol Appl
                Evolutionary Applications
                John Wiley and Sons Inc. (Hoboken )
                18 November 2019
                February 2020
                : 13
                : 2 ( doiID: 10.1111/eva.v13.2 )
                : 245-262
                [ 1 ] Department of Bioscience Aarhus University Aarhus C Denmark
                [ 2 ] Natural History Museum of Denmark University of Copenhagen Copenhagen Ø Denmark
                Author notes
                [* ] Correspondence

                Eva Egelyng Sigsgaard, Department of Bioscience, Aarhus University, Aarhus C, Denmark.

                Email: eva.sigsgaard@ 123456bios.au.dk

                © 2019 The Authors. Evolutionary Applications published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd

                This is an open access article under the terms of the http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/ License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

                Page count
                Figures: 1, Tables: 1, Pages: 18, Words: 17054
                Funded by: Science and Technology, University of Aarhus
                Funded by: Carlsberg Foundation , open-funder-registry 10.13039/501100002808;
                Reviews and Syntheses
                Reviews and Syntheses
                Custom metadata
                February 2020
                Converter:WILEY_ML3GV2_TO_JATSPMC version:5.7.5 mode:remove_FC converted:23.01.2020


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