Journal Article

A flexible forward simulator for populations subject to selection and demography

Ryan D. Hernandez

in Bioinformatics

Volume 24, issue 23, pages 2786-2787
Published in print December 2008 | ISSN: 1367-4803
Published online October 2008 | e-ISSN: 1460-2059 | DOI:
A flexible forward simulator for populations subject to selection and demography

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Summary: This article introduces a new forward population genetic simulation program that can efficiently generate samples from populations with complex demographic histories under various models of natural selection. The program (SFS_CODE) is highly flexible, allowing the user to simulate realistic genomic regions with several loci evolving according to a variety of mutation models (from simple to context-dependent), and allows for insertions and deletions. Each locus can be annotated as either coding or non-coding, sex-linked or autosomal, selected or neutral, and have an arbitrary linkage structure (from completely linked to independent).

Availability: The source code (written in the C programming language) is available at, and a web server ( allows the user to perform simulations using the high-performance computing cluster hosted by the Cornell University Computational Biology Service Unit.


Supplementary information: An extensive user's manual, perfor-mance statistics, and comparisons of patterns of genetic variation generated by SFS_CODE to theoretical expectations under various non-stationary demographic histories and models of natural selection are available on the project website:

Journal Article.  1225 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Bioinformatics and Computational Biology

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