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Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2011, 12(6), 3966-3988; doi:10.3390/ijms12063966

Applications and Implications of Neutral versus Non-neutral Markers in Molecular Ecology

Department of Biology, Trent University, Peterborough, Ontario K9J 7B8, Canada
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 28 April 2011 / Revised: 6 June 2011 / Accepted: 7 June 2011 / Published: 14 June 2011
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Molecular Ecology)
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Abstract

The field of molecular ecology has expanded enormously in the past two decades, largely because of the growing ease with which neutral molecular genetic data can be obtained from virtually any taxonomic group. However, there is also a growing awareness that neutral molecular data can provide only partial insight into parameters such as genetic diversity, local adaptation, evolutionary potential, effective population size, and taxonomic designations. Here we review some of the applications of neutral versus adaptive markers in molecular ecology, discuss some of the advantages that can be obtained by supplementing studies of molecular ecology with data from non-neutral molecular markers, and summarize new methods that are enabling researchers to generate data from genes that are under selection.
Keywords: molecular markers; natural selection; genetic diversity; genetic drift; genetic differentiation; gene expression; next-generation sequencing molecular markers; natural selection; genetic diversity; genetic drift; genetic differentiation; gene expression; next-generation sequencing
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Kirk, H.; Freeland, J.R. Applications and Implications of Neutral versus Non-neutral Markers in Molecular Ecology. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2011, 12, 3966-3988.

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