Adaptive dynamics in allele space: Evolution of genetic polymorphism by small mutations in a heterogeneous environment

Kisdi E & Geritz SAH (1999). Adaptive dynamics in allele space: Evolution of genetic polymorphism by small mutations in a heterogeneous environment. Evolution 53 (4): 993-1008.

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We demonstrate how a genetic polymorphism of distinctly different alleles can develop during long-term frequency-dependent evolution in an initially monomorphic diploid population, if mutations have only small phenotypic effect. As a specific example, we use a version of Levene's (1953) soft selection model, where stabilizing selection acts on a continuous trait within each of two habitats. If the optimal phenotypes within the habitats are sufficiently different, then two distinctly different alleles evolve gradually from a single ancestral allele. In a wide range of parameter values, the two locally optimal phenotypes will be realized by one of the homozygotes and the heterozygote, rather than by the two homozygotes. Unlike in the haploid analogue of the model, there can be multiple polymorphic evolutionary attractors with different probabilities of convergence. Our results differ from the population genetic models of short-term evolution in two aspects: (1) a polymorphism that is population genetically stable may be invaded by a new mutant allele and, as a consequence, the population may fall back to monomorphism, (2) long-term evolution by allele substitutions may lead from a population where polymorphism is not possible into one where polymorphism is possible.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Adaptive dynamics; ESS; Evolutionary branching; Frequency dependent selection; Genetic polymorphism; Levene model; Soft selection
Research Programs: Adaptive Dynamics Network (ADN)
Bibliographic Reference: Evolution; 53(4):993-1008 (August 1999)
Depositing User: IIASA Import
Date Deposited: 15 Jan 2016 02:10
Last Modified: 23 Feb 2016 11:30

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