Underdominance, Multiscale Interactions, and Self-Organizing Barriers to Gene Flow

TitleUnderdominance, Multiscale Interactions, and Self-Organizing Barriers to Gene Flow
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2009
AuthorsEppstein, MJ, Payne, JL, Goodnight, CJ
JournalJournal of Artificial Evolution and Applications
Pagination1 - 13
Date Published2009/06

Understanding mechanisms for the evolution of barriers to gene flow within interbreeding populations continues to be a topic of great interest among evolutionary theorists. In this work, simulated evolving diploid populations illustrate how mild underdominance (heterozygote disadvantage) can be easily introduced at multiple loci in interbreeding populations through simultaneous or sequential mutational events at individual loci, by means of directional selection and simple forms of epistasis (non-linear gene-gene interactions). It is then shown how multiscale interactions (within-locus, between-locus, and between-individual) can cause interbreeding populations with multiple underdominant loci to self-organize into clusters of compatible genotypes, in some circumstances resulting in the emergence of reproductively isolated species. If external barriers to gene flow are also present, these can have a stabilizing effect on cluster boundaries and help to maintain underdominant polymorphisms, even when homozygotes have differential fitness. It is concluded that multiscale interactions can potentially help to maintain underdominant polymorphisms and may contribute to speciation events.

URLhttp://uvm.edu/epscor/publications/Underdominance, Multiscale Interactions, and Self-Organizing Barriers to Gene Flow.pdf
Short TitleJournal of Artificial Evolution and Applications
Refereed DesignationRefereed
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