School of Mathematics and Statistics

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Courses in
and Statistics

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2013/2014 Sem. 1

2013/2014 Sem. 2



To show how the frequencies of characteristics in large natural populations can be explained using mathematical models and how statistical techniques may be used to investigate model validity.


For the topics given in the syllabus given below, students should, by the end of the course, have a general understanding of the biological systems at work and be familiar with the probabilistic models for them. They should also be able to apply the statistical techniques given in the course for testing model validity.


- Basic concepts: genotypes and phenotypes, homozygotes and heterozygotes, dominant and recessive genotypes.

- Mendel's First and Second Laws, segregation ratios, goodness-of-fit tests.

- Random mating and random union of gametes.

- Hardy-Weinberg Equilibrium: single diallelic locus case with and without dominance, estimation of gene frequencies, testing the fit, three allele case.

- Inbreeding: self fertilisation, the coefficient of inbreeding, populations mixing selfing and random mating, general condition for equilibrium

- Assortative mating - positive (PAM) and negative (NAM), incomplete dominance case, total and partial PAM under complete dominance.

- Selection: changes in gene frequency and mean fitness, equilibria, time taken to effect changes.

- X-linked loci - basic properties, behaviour of gene and genotype frequencies.

- Mutation: fate of a single mutation, one-way and two-way mutations, combined effects of selection and mutation.

- Linkage: linkage equilibrium, estimating the strength of linkage.

- Genetic drift: Wright-Fisher model, effective population size, coalescence and gene genealogies.


Genetics of population, 4th ed.: P W Hedrick; Jones and Bartlett.
Principles of population genetics , 4th ed.: D L Hartl and A G Clark; Sinauer.
Introduction to population genetics, 2004: R Halliburton; Pearson Education Intl.


2 Hour Examination = 100%


MT2004 and one of MT3501, MT3503, MT3504, MT3606


Academic year 2013/14 in semester 1 at 9


Dr I B J Goudie

Click here for access to past examination papers via iSaint.

Click here to see the University Course Catalogue entry.

Revised: PMH (September 2013)

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