Genetic linkage and natural selection Journal Article


Author(s): Barton, Nicholas H
Article Title: Genetic linkage and natural selection
Affiliation IST Austria
Abstract: The prevalence of recombination in eukaryotes poses one of the most puzzling questions in biology. The most compelling general explanation is that recombination facilitates selection by breaking down the negative associations generated by random drift (i.e. Hill-Robertson interference, HRI). I classify the effects of HRI owing to: deleterious mutation, balancing selection and selective sweeps on: neutral diversity, rates of adaptation and the mutation load. These effects are mediated primarily by the density of deleterious mutations and of selective sweeps. Sequence polymorphism and divergence suggest that these rates may be high enough to cause significant interference even in genomic regions of high recombination. However, neither seems able to generate enough variance in fitness to select strongly for high rates of recombination. It is plausible that spatial and temporal fluctuations in selection generate much more fitness variance, and hence selection for recombination, than can be explained by uniformly deleterious mutations or species-wide selective sweeps.
Keywords: Selection, Genetic; Epistasis, Genetic; Linkage (Genetics); Models, Genetic; Polymorphism, Genetic; Genetics, Population; Recombination, Genetic; Evolution; Adaptation, Biological; Genetic Fitness
Journal Title: Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London. Series B, Biological Sciences
Volume: 365
Issue 1552
ISSN: 0962-8436
Publisher: Royal Society, The  
Date Published: 2010-08-27
Start Page: 2559
End Page: 2569
Sponsor: Royal Society and Wolfson Foundation for their support
URL:
DOI: 10.1098/rstb.2010.0106
Notes: We would like to thank Brian Charlesworth and Sally Otto for their helpful comments.
Open access: yes (repository)
IST Austria Authors
  1. Nick Barton
    252 Barton
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