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Forward-in-Time, Spatially Explicit Modeling Software to Simulate Genetic Lineages under Selection

Type of publication Peer-reviewed
Publikationsform Original article (peer-reviewed)
Author Currat Mathias, Gerbault Pascale, Di Da, Nunes José M., Sanchez-Mazas Alicia,
Project Reconstructing Europeans' genetic evolution through computer simulations and heterochronous molecular data
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Original article (peer-reviewed)

Journal Evolutionary Bioinformatics
Page(s) EBO.S33488 - EBO.S33488
Title of proceedings Evolutionary Bioinformatics
DOI 10.4137/ebo.s33488

Open Access

Type of Open Access Publisher (Gold Open Access)


SELECTOR is a software package for studying the evolution of multiallelic genes under balancing or positive selection while simulating complex evolutionary scenarios that integrate demographic growth and migration in a spatially explicit population framework. Parameters can be varied both in space and time to account for geographical, environmental, and cultural heterogeneity. SELECTOR can be used within an approximate Bayesian computation estimation framework. We first describe the principles of SELECTOR and validate the algorithms by comparing its outputs for simple models with theoretical expectations. Then, we show how it can be used to investigate genetic differentiation of loci under balancing selection in interconnected demes with spatially heterogeneous gene flow. We identify situations in which balancing selection reduces genetic differentiation between population groups compared with neutrality and explain conflicting outcomes observed for human leukocyte antigen loci. These results and three previously published applications demonstrate that SELECTOR is efficient and robust for building insight into human settlement history and evolution.