Simulation of population sampling and allele frequency, linkage equilibrium, and random match probability calculations


  • Cynthia Zeller Towson University
  • Kelly M Elkins Towson University


Population sampling and analysis are necessary for performing DNA typing statistics. In this activity, we present a population sampling simulation using candy as a manipulative for hands-on learning to empirically develop a population database and promote calculations including allele frequency, polymorphism, linkage equilibrium, Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium, and random match probability. Candy of different types are assigned to genetic loci and colors are assigned to represent allelic variations. The activity has been used for several years in our FRSC 601 Forensic Molecular Biochemistry course to aid in teaching this topic.

Author Biography

Kelly M Elkins, Towson University

Kelly M. Elkins

Associate Professor of Chemistry

Towson University

Chemistry Department

8000 York Rd

Towson, MD 21252






Activity or Laboratory Experiment: College Educators