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Recombination and the evolution of mutational robustness

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Author(s)

Andy Gardner, Alex T. Kalinka

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Abstract

Mutational robustness is the degree to which a phenotype, such as fitness, is resistant to mutational perturbations. Since most of these perturbations will tend to reduce fitness, robustness provides an immediate benefit for the mutated individual. However, robust systems decay due to the accumulation of deleterious mutations that would otherwise have been cleared by selection. This decay has received very little theoretical attention. At equilibrium, a population or asexual lineage is expected to have a mutation load that is invariant with respect to the selection coefficient of deleterious alleles, so the benefit of robustness (at the level of the population or asexual lineage) is temporary. However, previous work has shown that robustness can be favoured when robustness loci segregate independently of the mutating loci they act upon. We examine a simple two-locus model that allows for intermediate rates of recombination and inbreeding to show that increasing the effective recombination rate allows for the evolution of greater mutational robustness. (c) 2006 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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Details

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)707-715
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Theoretical Biology
Volume241
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 21 Aug 2006

    Research areas

  • canalization, epistasis, linkage disequilibrium, multilocus methodology, mutation selection balance, SEGMENT POLARITY NETWORK, DELETERIOUS MUTATIONS, ESCHERICHIA-COLI, METABOLIC GENOTYPE, SELECTION BALANCE, GENETIC NETWORKS, CANALIZATION, DOMINANCE, FITNESS, RNA

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