A Tutorial of the Poisson Random Field Model in Population Genetics

TitleA Tutorial of the Poisson Random Field Model in Population Genetics
Publication TypeJournal Articles
Year of Publication2008
AuthorsSethupathy P, Hannenhalli S
JournalAdvances in Bioinformatics
Pagination1 - 9
Date Published2008///
ISBN Number1687-8027, 1687-8035

Population genetics is the study of allele frequency changes driven by various evolutionary forces such as mutation, natural selection, and random genetic drift. Although natural selection is widely recognized as a bona-fide phenomenon, the extent to which it drives evolution continues to remain unclear and controversial. Various qualitative techniques, or so-called “tests of neutrality”, have been introduced to detect signatures of natural selection. A decade and a half ago, Stanley Sawyer and Daniel Hartl provided a mathematical framework, referred to as the Poisson random field (PRF), with which to determine quantitatively the intensity of selection on a particular gene or genomic region. The recent availability of large-scale genetic polymorphism data has sparked widespread interest in genome-wide investigations of natural selection. To that end, the original PRF model is of particular interest for geneticists and evolutionary genomicists. In this article, we will provide a tutorial of the mathematical derivation of the original Sawyer and Hartl PRF model.