Stability and response of polygenic traits to stabilizing selection and mutation Journal Article

Author(s): de Vladar, Harold P; Barton, Nicholas H
Article Title: Stability and response of polygenic traits to stabilizing selection and mutation
Affiliation IST Austria
Abstract: When polygenic traits are under stabilizing selection, many different combinations of alleles allow close adaptation to the optimum. If alleles have equal effects, all combinations that result in the same deviation from the optimum are equivalent. Furthermore, the genetic variance that is maintained by mutation-selection balance is 2μ/S per locus, where μ is the mutation rate and S the strength of stabilizing selection. In reality, alleles vary in their effects, making the fitness landscape asymmetric and complicating analysis of the equilibria. We show that that the resulting genetic variance depends on the fraction of alleles near fixation, which contribute by 2μ/S, and on the total mutational effects of alleles that are at intermediate frequency. The inpplayfi between stabilizing selection and mutation leads to a sharp transition: alleles with effects smaller than a threshold value of 2 remain polymorphic, whereas those with larger effects are fixed. The genetic load in equilibrium is less than for traits of equal effects, and the fitness equilibria are more similar. We find p the optimum is displaced, alleles with effects close to the threshold value sweep first, and their rate of increase is bounded by Long-term response leads in general to well-adapted traits, unlike the case of equal effects that often end up at a suboptimal fitness peak. However, the particular peaks to which the populations converge are extremely sensitive to the initial states and to the speed of the shift of the optimum trait value.
Journal Title: Genetics
Volume: 197
Issue 2
ISSN: 0016-6731
Publisher: Genetics Society of America  
Date Published: 2014-06-01
Start Page: 749
End Page: 767
Sponsor: This project was funded by the European Research Council grant ERC-2009-AdG for project 250152 SELECTIONINFORMATION.
DOI: 10.1534/genetics.113.159111
Notes: The authors thank Tiago Paixao and Daniel Weissman for discussions.
Open access: yes (repository)