Mar 3, 2016

Assortative mating can impede or facilitate fixation of underdominant alleles

BioRxiv : the Preprint Server for Biology
Mitchell G NewberryJoshua B Plotkin

Abstract

Although underdominant mutations have undoubtedly fixed between divergent species, classical models of population genetics suggest underdominant alleles should be purged quickly, except in small or subdivided populations. Here we study the fixation of underdominant alleles at loci that also influence mate choice, such as loci encoding coloration patterns visible to mates and predators alike. We analyze a mechanistic model of positive assortative mating in which individuals have n chances to sample compatible mates. This one-parameter model naturally spans the two classical extremes of random mating ( n =1) and complete assortment ( n → ∞), and yet it produces a complex form of sexual selection that depends non-monotonically on the number of mating opportunities, n . The resulting interaction between viability selection and sexual selection can either inhibit or facilitate fixation of underdominant alleles, compared to random mating. As the number of mating opportunities increases, underdominant alleles can fix at rates that even approach the neutral substitution rate. This result is counterintuitive because sexual selection and underdominance each suppress rare alleles in this model, and yet in combination they can promote the ...Continue Reading

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Mentioned in this Paper

Patterns
Zornia gibbosa
Sample Fixation
Species
Alleles
Ilex paraguayensis homeopathic preparation
Genetic Models for Cancer
Fixation - Action
Genetic Loci
Population Group

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