The Hill-Robertson effect and the evolution of recombination Journal Article

Author(s): Roze, Denis; Barton, Nicholas H
Article Title: The Hill-Robertson effect and the evolution of recombination
Abstract: In finite populations, genetic drift generates interference between selected loci, causing advantageous alleles to be found more often on different chromosomes than on the same chromosome, which reduces the rate of adaptation. This “Hill–Robertson effect” generates indirect selection to increase recombination rates. We present a new method to quantify the strength of this selection. Our model represents a new beneficial allele (A) entering a population as a single copy, while another beneficial allele (B) is sweeping at another locus. A third locus affects the recombination rate between selected loci. Using a branching process model, we calculate the probability distribution of the number of copies of A on the different genetic backgrounds, after it is established but while it is still rare. Then, we use a deterministic model to express the change in frequency of the recombination modifier, due to hitchhiking, as A goes to fixation. We show that this method can give good estimates of selection for recombination. Moreover, it shows that recombination is selected through two different effects: it increases the fixation probability of new alleles, and it accelerates selective sweeps. The relative importance of these two effects depends on the relative times of occurrence of the beneficial alleles.
Journal Title: Genetics
Volume: 173
Issue 3
ISSN: 0016-6731
Publisher: Genetics Society of America  
Date Published: 2006-07-01
Start Page: 1793
End Page: 1811
DOI: 10.1534/genetics.106.058586
Open access: no
IST Austria Authors
  1. Nick Barton
    252 Barton
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