Because microsatellite loci are abundant in the human genome and are highly polymorphic in most global populations, such loci have become very popular in studies on reconstructing evolutionary relationships among contemporary human populations. We have made an assessment of the efficiency of recovery of true evolutionary relationships using simulated data of microsatellite loci and a variety of distance measures. We find that allele frequency data on about 30 microsatellite loci and the use ofDA (Neiet al. 1983) orDc (Cavalli-Sforza and Edwards 1967) distance measures with UPGMA clustering algorithm can recover true short-term evolutionary relationships with a high degree of accuracy, unless the effective sizes of the populations or mutation rates or both are very small.
Volume 100, 2021
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