New preprint is out - results from Roberta Gargiulo's STSM
From 19/09 to 18/10/2022 Roberta Gargiulo conducted a short-term scientific mission (STSM) titled "Estimating effective population size in genomic datasets: test of methods and assumptions". The STSM was carried out at INRAE Biogeco, hosted by dr Myriam Heuertz, the leader of G-BiKE's Working Group 3. Results of this STSM are now available in preprint in the publication titled "Estimation of contemporary effective population size in plant populations: limitations of genomic datasets". Effective population size (Ne) is a pivotal evolutionary parameter with crucial implications in conservation practice and policy. Genetic methods to estimate Ne have been preferred over demographic methods because they rely on genetic data rather than time-consuming ecological monitoring. Methods based on linkage disequilibrium, in particular, have become popular in conservation as they require a single sampling and provide estimates that refer to recent generations. Gargiulo et al. show how accuracy and precision of Ne estimates potentially change with the following factors: occurrence of missing data, limited number of SNPs/individuals sampled, and lack of information about the location of SNPs on chromosomes, with the latter producing a significant bias, previously unexplored with empirical data.