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Human Population Genetics

ISBN: 978-1-118-18162-1
350 pages
February 2012, Wiley-Blackwell
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Introductory guide to human population genetics and microevolutionary theory

Providing an introduction to mathematical population genetics, Human Population Genetics gives basic background on the mechanisms of human microevolution. This text combines mathematics, biology, and anthropology and is best suited for advanced undergraduate and graduate study.

Thorough and accessible, Human Population Genetics presents concepts and methods of population genetics specific to human population study, utilizing uncomplicated mathematics like high school algebra and basic concepts of probability to explain theories central to the field. By describing changes in the frequency of genetic variants from one generation to the next, this book hones in on the mathematical basis of evolutionary theory.

Human Population Genetics includes:

  • Helpful formulae for learning ease

  • Graphs and analogies that make basic points and relate the evolutionary process to mathematical ideas

  • Glossary terms marked in boldface within the book the first time they appear

  • In-text citations that act as reference points for further research

  • Exemplary case studies

  • Topics such as Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium, inbreeding, mutation, genetic drift, natural selection, and gene flow

Human Population Genetics solidifies knowledge learned in introductory biological anthropology or biology courses and makes it applicable to genetic study.

NOTE: errata for the first edition can be found at the author's website: http://employees.oneonta.edu/relethjh/HPG/errata.pdf

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Foreword vii

Preface ix

1 GENETIC, MATHEMATICAL, AND ANTHROPOLOGICAL BACKGROUND 1

I. The Scope of Population Genetics 2

II. Genetics Background 5

III. Principles of Probability 14

IV. The Anthropological Connection 17

V. A Closing Thought 21

2 HARDY–WEINBERG EQUILIBRIUM 23

I. Genotype and Allele Frequencies 24

II. What is Hardy–Weinberg Equilibrium? 30

III. The Mathematics of Hardy–Weinberg Equilibrium 31

IV. Using Hardy–Weinberg Equilibrium 37

V. Extensions of Hardy–Weinberg Equilibrium 40

VI. Hardy–Weinberg Equilibrium and Evolution 44

VII. Summary 45

3 INBREEDING 49

I. Quantifying Inbreeding 51

II. Population Genetics and Inbreeding 62

III. Inbreeding in Human Populations 65

IV. Summary 75

4 MUTATION 77

I. The Nature of Mutations 77

II. Models of Mutation 81

III. Mutational History and Anthropological Questions 88

IV. Summary 96

5 GENETIC DRIFT 101

I. What is Genetic Drift? 102

II. Genetic Drift and Population Size 112

III. Effects on Genetic Variation 120

IV. Mutation and Genetic Drift 121

V. Coalescent Theory 125

VI. Summary 131

6 MODELS OF NATURAL SELECTION 139

I. How Does Natural Selection Work? 140

II. A General Model of Natural Selection 145

III. Types of Natural Selection 147

IV. Other Aspects of Selection 160

V. Summary 167

7 NATURAL SELECTION IN HUMAN POPULATIONS 181

I. Case Studies of Natural Selection in Human Populations 182

II. Are Humans Still Evolving? 198

III. Summary 203

8 GENE FLOW 205

I. The Evolutionary Impact of Gene Flow 206

II. Models of Gene Flow 208

III. Gene Flow and Genetic Drift 213

IV. Estimating Admixture in Human Populations 226

V. Summary 230

9 HUMAN POPULATION STRUCTURE AND HISTORY 237

I. Case Studies of Human Population Structure 238

II. The Origin of Modern Humans 242

III. Case Studies of Population Origins 247

IV. Summary 255

Glossary 257

References 267

Index 279

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“Relethford’s Human Population Geneticsis a superb attempt at facing the challenges of explaining the basics of population genetics to those with a limited background in evolutionary theory and a fear of the quantitative.”  (The Quarterly Review of Biology, 1  September 2014)

“For many students, and likely some instructors, who have found the mathematical underpinnings of evolutionary genetics daunting, this new volume will be a welcome addition to the bookshelf. It is an easy book to recommend either as a primary text in anthropological genetics courses, or as a recommended or adjunct text in upper division/beginning graduate courses in human biology, human genetics, or human evolution.”  (American Journal of Physical Anthropology, 19 September 2013)

 

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