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Deleterious mutations as an evolutionary factor: 1. The advantage of recombination

  • Alexey S. Kondrashov (a1)

Summary

A population with u deleterious mutations per genome per generation is considered in which only those individuals that carry less than a critical number of k mutations are viable. It has been shown previously that under such conditions sexual reproduction is advantageous. Here we consider selection at a locus that determines recombination frequency of the whole genome. The value v = u/ √ k has been found to play the decisive role. When v < 0·35 the direction of selection for recombination may be different for different cases, but the intensity of selection is always very small. The advantage of recombination becomes considerable when v > 0·5, its growth under increasing v being approximately linear. If v > 2 no less than 95% of the progeny are bound to die because of the selection against deleterious mutations. Since this seems to be too great a mutation load, we may assume 0·5 < v < 2·0 for any sexual population if mutation really maintains crossing-over. Results on selection at a locus which controls mutability provide evidence that v is located within the specified interval if the physiological cost of a twofold reduction of the mutation rate is within the range 10–80%. A number of consequences of this hypothesis about the mechanism of selection for sex and recombination are discussed.

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References

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Genetics Research
  • ISSN: 0016-6723
  • EISSN: 1469-5073
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