Partitioning, duality, and linkage disequilibria in the Moran model with recombination

Mareike Esser, Sebastian Probst, Ellen Baake

Comments: 29 pages, 6 figures

Subjects: Probability (math.PR); Populations and Evolution (q-bio.PE)

The Moran model with recombination is considered, which describes the evolution of the genetic composition of a population under recombination and resampling. There are $n$ sites (or loci), a finite number of letters (or alleles) at every site, and we do not make any scaling assumptions. In particular, we do not assume a diffusion limit. We consider the following marginal ancestral recombination process. Let $S = \{1,…c,n\}$ and $\mathcal A=\{A_1, …c, A_m\}$ be a partition of $S$. We concentrate on the joint probability of the letters at the sites in $A_1$ in individual $1$, $…c$, at the sites in $A_m$ in individual $m$, where the individuals are sampled from the current population without replacement. Following the ancestry of these sites backwards in time yields a process on the set of partitions of $S$, which, in the diffusion limit, turns into a marginalised version of the $n$-locus ancestral recombination graph. With the help of an inclusion-exclusion principle, we show that the type distribution corresponding to a given partition may be represented in a systematic way, with the help of so-called recombinators and sampling functions. The same is true of correlation functions (known as linkage disequilibria in genetics) of all orders.

We prove that the partitioning process (backward in time) is dual to the Moran population process (forward in time), where the sampling function plays the role of the duality function. This sheds new light on the work of Bobrowski, Wojdyla, and Kimmel (2010). The result also leads to a closed system of ordinary differential equations for the expectations of the sampling functions, which can be translated into expected type distributions and expected linkage disequilibria.