Selection for recombination in small populations Journal Article

Author(s): Otto, Sarah P; Barton, Nicholas H
Article Title: Selection for recombination in small populations
Abstract: The reasons that sex and recombination are so widespread remain elusive. One popular hypothesis is that sex and recombination promote adaptation to a changing environment. The strongest evidence that increased recombination may evolve because recombination promotes adaptation comes from artificially selected populations. Recombination rates have been found to increase as a correlated response to selection on traits unrelated to recombination in several artificial selection experiments and in a comparison of domesticated and nondomesticated mammals. There are, however, several alternative explanations for the increase in recombination in such populations, including two different evolutionary explanations. The first is that the form of selection is epistatic, generating linkage disequilibria among selected loci, which can indirectly favor modifier alleles that increase recombination. The second is that random genetic drift in selected populations tends to generate disequilibria such that beneficial alleles are often found in different individuals; modifier alleles that increase recombination can bring together such favorable alleles and thus may be found in individuals with greater fitness. In this paper, we compare the evolutionary forces acting on recombination in finite populations subject to strong selection, To our surprise, we found that drift accounted for the majority of selection for increased recombination observed in simulations of small to moderately large populations, suggesting that, unless selected populations are large, epistasis plays a secondary role in the evolution of recombination.
Keywords: Epistasis; Drift; Fisher-Muller theory; Modifier; Recombination
Journal Title: Evolution; International Journal of Organic Evolution
Volume: 55
Issue 10
ISSN: 0014-3820
Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell  
Date Published: 2001-10-01
Start Page: 1921
End Page: 1931
DOI: 10.1111/j.0014-3820.2001.tb01310.x
Open access: no
IST Austria Authors
  1. Nick Barton
    252 Barton
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