Kinship analyses are important pillars of ecological and conservation genetic studies with potentially far reaching implications. There is a need for power analyses that address a range of possible relationships. Nevertheless, such analyses are rarely applied, and studies using genetic-data-based-kinship inference often ignore the influence of intrinsic population characteristics. We investigated 11 questions regarding the correct classification rate of dyads to relatedness categories ("relatedness category assignments" RCA) using an individual-based model with realistic life-history parameters. We investigated: the effects of the number of genetic markers; marker type (microsatellite, single nucleotide polymorphism SNP, or both); minor allele frequency; typing error; mating system; and the number of overlapping generations under different demographic conditions. We found that (i) an increasing number of genetic markers increased the correct classification rate of the RCA so that up to >80% first cousins can be correctly assigned; (ii) the minimum number of genetic markers required for assignments with 80% and 95% correct classifications differed between relatedness categories, mating systems and the number of overlapping generations; (iii) the correct classification rate was improved by adding additional relatedness categories and age and mitochondrial DNA data, and (iv) a combination of microsatellite and SNP data increased the correct classification rate if <800 SNP loci were available. This study shows how intrinsic population characteristics, such as mating system and the number of overlapping generations, life history traits, and genetic marker characteristics can influence the correct classification rate of an RCA study. Therefore species-specific power analyses are essential for empirical studies.
- identity by descent (IBD)
- intrinsic population characteristics
- pedigree reconstruction
- relatedness category assignment
- Received March 27, 2015.
- Accepted June 23, 2015.
- Copyright © 2015 Author et al.
This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Unported License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.