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The effects of rate variation on ancestral inference in the coalescent.

Publication Date
  • Research Article
  • Logic


We describe a Markov chain Monte Carlo approach for assessing the role of site-to-site rate variation in the analysis of within-population samples of DNA sequences using the coalescent. Our framework is a Bayesian one. We discuss methods for assessing the goodness-of-fit of these models, as well as problems concerning the separate estimation of effective population size and mutation rate. Using a mitochondrial data set for illustration, we show that ancestral inference concerning coalescence times can be dramatically affected if rate variation is ignored.

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