Robertson (1960) used probability transition matrices to estimate changes in gene frequency when sampling and selection are applied to a finite population. Curnow & Baker (1968) used Kojima's (1961) approximate formulae for the mean and variance of the change in gene frequency from a single cycle of selection applied to a finite population to develop an iterative procedure for studying the effects of repeated cycles of selection and regeneration. To do this they assumed a beta distribution for the unfixed gene frequencies at each generation.
These two methods are discussed and a result used in Kojima's paper is proved. A number of sets of calculations are carried out using both methods and the results are compared to assess the accuracy of Curnow & Baker's method in relation to Robertson's approach.
It is found that the one real fault in the Curnow-Baker method is its tendency to fix too high a proportion of the genes, particularly when the initial gene frequency is near to a fixation point. This fault is largely overcome when more individuals are selected. For selection of eight or more individuals the Curnow-Baker method is very accurate and appreciably faster than the transition matrix method.