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A simple model for the balance between selection and mutation

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  14 July 2016

J. F. C. Kingman*
University of Oxford


A model for the variation in time of the fitness distribution in a large haploid population is shown to have simple limiting properties which can be elucidated in fairly explicit terms. The novel feature is that mutation is not assumed to cause a small perturbation in fitness but to bring down the evolutionary ‘house of cards’. A threshold phenomenon appears: if a certain inequality holds the limiting distribution is a skewed version of the mutant fitness distribution, but otherwise an atom of probability builds up at the upper limit of fitness.

Research Papers
Copyright © Applied Probability Trust 1978 

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