The impact of the past as measured by D0 upon the present in multilocus systems can be either a boon or a bane, depending upon the question being addressed. As a boon, multilocus studies inherently contain information about the past history of present-day genetic variation and its mutational origins. Parts of this history can often be inferred from multilocus (or multi-nucleotide-site) studies and hence give us a window into the past. For example, one important mutation in human genetics is the sickle cell mutation in the sixth codon of the autosomal locus that codes for the j chain of adult hemoglobin. We will look at the phenotypic and adaptive significance of this mutation later in this book. For now we focus on the linkage disequilibrium patterns of this relatively new mutation in the human gene pool with some genetic variation in surrounding loci. Figure 2.6 shows the genetic state of some of these surrounding loci on chromosomes that contain the j S allele. As will be detailed later in this book, the j S allele only recently became common in specific,
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