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Evolution of amphimixis and recombination under fluctuating selection in one and many traits

  • Alexey S. Kondrashov (a1) and Lev Yu. Yampolsky (a1)

Summary

Both stabilizing and directional selection acting on one or many quantitative traits usually reduce the genetic variance in a polymorphic population. Amphimixis and recombination restore the variance, pushing it closer to its value under linkage equilibrium. They thus increase the response of the population to fluctuating selection and decrease the genetic load when the mean phenotype is far from optimum. Amphimixis can have a short-term advantage over apomixis if selection fluctuates frequently and widely, so that every genotype often has a low fitness. Such selection causes high genetic variance due to frequent allele substitutions, and a high load even with amphimixis. Recombination in an amphimictic population is maintained only if selection is usually strong and effectively directional. A modifier allele causing free recombination can have a significant advantage only if fluctuations of selection are such that the load is substantial. With smaller fluctuations, an intermediate recombination rate can be established, either due to fixation of alleles that cause such a rate or due to the stable coexistence of alleles causing high and low recombination. If many traits simultaneously are under fluctuating selection, amphimixis and recombination can be maintained when selection associated with individual traits is weaker and the changes in their mean values are smaller than with a single trait. Still, the range of changes of the fitness optima in each trait must be at least of the order of the trait's standard deviation, and the total load must be high.

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*Corresponding author. Telephone: +1(607) 254-4221. Fax: + 1(607) 255-8088. e-mail: ask3@cornell.edu.

References

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Evolution of amphimixis and recombination under fluctuating selection in one and many traits

  • Alexey S. Kondrashov (a1) and Lev Yu. Yampolsky (a1)

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