Genetic variation maintained in multilocus models of additive quantitative traits under stabilizing selection

Buerger, R. & Gimelfarb, A. (1999). Genetic variation maintained in multilocus models of additive quantitative traits under stabilizing selection. Genetics 152 (2) 807-820.

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Stabilizing selection for an intermediate optimum is generally considered to deplete genetic variation in quantitative traits. However, conflicting results from various types of models have been obtained. While classical analyses assuming a large number of independent additive loci with individually small effects indicated that no genetic variation is preserved under stabilizing selection, several analyses of two-locus models showed the contrary. We perform a complete analysis of a generalization of Wright's two-locus quadratic-optimum model and investigate numerically the ability of quadratic stabilizing selection to maintain genetic variation in additive quantitative traits controlled by up to five loci. A statistical approach is employed by choosing randomly 4000 parameter sets (allelic effects, recombination rates, and strength of selection) for a given number of loci. For each parameter set we iterate the recursion equations that describe the dynamics of gamete frequencies starting from 20 randomly chosen initial conditions until an equilibrium is reached, record the quantities of interest, and calculate their corresponding mean values. As the number of loci increases from two to five, the fraction of the genome expected to be polymorphic declines surprisingly rapidly, and the loci that are polymorphic increasingly are those with small effects on the trait. As a result, the genetic variance expected to be maintained under stabilizing selection decreases very rapidly with increased number of loci. The equilibrium structure expected under stabilizing selection on an additive trait differs markedly from that expected under selection with no constraints on genotypic fitness values. The expected genetic variance, the expected polymorphic fraction of the genome, as well as other quantities of interest, are only weakly dependent on the selection intensity and the level of recombination.

Item Type: Article
Research Programs: Adaptive Dynamics Network (ADN)
Bibliographic Reference: Genetics; 152(2):807-820 (July 1999)
Depositing User: IIASA Import
Date Deposited: 15 Jan 2016 02:10
Last Modified: 27 Aug 2021 17:36

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