The statistical power of the technique of DNA fingerprinting relies greatly on the ability of the investigator to make an assumption that the presence or absence of different fingerprint bands are independent. Such linkage equilibrium is unlikely if bands are tightly linked to each other. Thus, when a new organism is to be investigated it is helpful to examine the segregation of parental bands into the offspring to confirm that the bands are not linked. By considering families of the tilapia Oreochromis niloticus, we produce statistical tests for linkage that can be applied to DNA fingerprint information. The use of these tests is more difficult and complicated if one parent is missing, but some progress can be made. We recommend that at least ten offspring are examined for segregation in families, since smaller numbers of offspring result in coincidental perfect agreements in band distributions in the absence of any linkage.
Molecular Ecology (1993) 2 (4) 209-218 [DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-294X.1993.tb00010.x]