Mathematical Biology seminar|
Dept of Mathematics
University of Arizona
"Microsatellite Mutation Models"
November 4, 2005
1:00pm, LCB 215
The mutations one finds in the genome have been extensively employed as a
tool for dating genealogical events. For these purposes, one scans for
polymorphic pieces of DNA and then develops mathematical models for their
evolution. Questions that can be addressed using only neutral mutations
over non-recombining regions of the DNA simplify both the model building
and the ensuing statistical analysis.
For the dating of the more recent events, the choice is the relatively
rapidly mutating microsatellites.
After reviewing the classical methods for microsatellite mutation models,
this talk moves on to recent biochemical and biochemical analyses of
mutational events and casts their evolution as a Markov process. We obtain
exact results for the probability distributions for the change in
microsatellite length over any given number of generations.
If time permits, we will discuss some of the thermodynamic constraints of
the models, and the use of these models in dating historical events. In
particular, we will talk briefly about the project that provided impetus
for this research, the peopling of Indonesia.