The genetic relationships among individuals within populations play a pivotal role in quantitative genetics, conservation genetics and many areas of evolution and ecology.

Such relationships can be easily estimated from the pedigree information. For natural populations, however, detailed knowledge of pedigree is usually unavailable. Genetic markers can be used, instead, to infer the relationships among individuals without pedigree information.

  • Wang J. (2002) An estimator for pairwise relatedness using molecular markers. Genetics 160:1203-1215.
  • Wang J. (2004) Estimating pairwise relatedness from dominant genetic markers. Molecular Ecology 13: 3169–3178.

This Fortran program, MER (Moment Estimate of Relatedness), written by Jinliang Wang based on the moment methods described in the above paper, can be used to estimate the 2- and 4-gene relatedness coefficients between individuals from codominant or dominant genetic markers. Bootstrapping over loci is used to estimate standard deviations of the estimates.


MER v3.0 (1.32 MB)

This downloads a 'zipped' set of files containing Fortran source code, PC executable file, test data set and instructions. This new version calculates parameters for many individuals simultaneously and can accommodate missing data. Last updated on 18/03/2013.

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