Bio525 Population Genetics

Population genetics is the quantitative study of allele frequency changes in populations in time and space, and forms the basis of evolutionary biology. This course will cover various models used in modern-day population genetics and applications on real data.

Target audience: BIO and GENE students, graduate level or senior undergraduate.

Prerequisites: Biometry (BIO220) or equivalent, Genetics (BIO351 or GENE365) or equivalent, familiarity with the R programming language. Suggested prerequisites: Evolution (BIO404)

Text: The primary text book will be “An Introduction to Population Genetics – Theory and Applications” by Nielsen and Slatkin (2013, Sinauer Publishers), available at the METU library. For an efficient course, students are expected to read the text in advance.

Registration: The course will be limited to 22 students. Please fill in this pre-registration form. Students will also need to officially register at the METU Summer School. Summer school fees will be reimbursed by the tutor as food & beverages.

First meeting: June 28, 9:00. Biology Building Z-06.

Time & place: Monday and Thursday, 9:30-13:30 (Biology, Z-06). This is preliminary and we will decide on the course days and hours together at the first meeting.

Instructor: Mehmet Somel (METU Biological Sciences). Email: Office: Biology Building, room 119.

Outline (following Nielsen and Slatkin):

Week 1: Statistics recap. Allele & genotype frequencies, Hardy–Weinberg equilibrium. Genetic drift and mutation models.

Week 2: Coalescence theory. Population subdivision models.

Week 3: Inferring population history and demography. Linkage disequilibrium and gene mapping.

Week 4: Selection: basic models, selection in finite populations.

Week 5: The Neutral Theory and tests of neutrality.

Week 6: Selection: interactions and conflict. Quantitative genetics.