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Assortative mating and the adaptive landscape

Williams, SM and Sarkar, S (1994) Assortative mating and the adaptive landscape. In: Evolution, 48 (3). pp. 868-875.

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The ability of a population to shift from one adaptive peak to another was examined for a two-locus model with different degrees of assortative mating, selection, and linkage. As expected, if the proportion of the population that mates assortatively increases, so does its ability to shift to a new peak. Assortative mating affects this process by allowing the mean fitness of a population to increase monotonically as it passes through intermediate gene frequencies on the way to a new, higher, homozygotic peak. Similarly, if the height of the new peak increases or selection against intermediates becomes less severe, the population becomes more likely to shift to a new peak. Close linkage also helps the shift to a new adaptive peak and acts similarly to assortative mating, but it is not necessary for such a shift as was previously thought. When a population shifts to a new peak, the number of generations required is significantly less than that needed to return to the original peak when that happens. The short period of time required may be an explanation for rapid changes in the geological record. Under extremely high degrees of assortative mating, the shift takes longer, presumably because of the difficulty of breaking up less favored allelic combinations.

Item Type: Journal Article
Publication: Evolution
Publisher: John Wiley and Sons
Additional Information: Copyright of this article belongs to John Wiley and Sons.
Keywords: Assortative mating, linkage, selection
Department/Centre: Division of Biological Sciences > Molecular Reproduction, Development & Genetics
Date Deposited: 26 Mar 2011 06:45
Last Modified: 07 Jul 2011 06:36
URI: http://eprints.iisc.ac.in/id/eprint/36248

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