The Genealogy of Samples in Models with Selection

Claudia Neuhauser and Stephen M. Krone


We introduce the genealogy of a random sample of genes taken from a large haploid population which evolves according to random reproduction with selection and mutation. Without selection, the genealogy is described by Kingman's well-known coalescent process. In the selective case, the genealogy of the sample is embedded in a graph with a coalescing and branching structure. We describe this graph, called the ancestral selection graph, and point out differences and similarities with Kingman's coalescent. We present simulations for a 2-allele model with symmetric mutation in which one of the alleles has a selective advantage over the other. We find that when the allele frequencies in the population are already in equilibrium, then the genealogy does not differ much from the neutral case. This is supported by rigorous results. Furthermore, we describe the ancestral selection graph for other selective models with finitely many selection classes such as the K-allele models, infinitely-many-alleles models, DNA sequence models, and infinitely-many-sites models, and briefly discuss the diploid case.