Fitness variation due to sexual antagonism and linkage disequilibrium


Patten MM, Haig D, Ubeda F. Fitness variation due to sexual antagonism and linkage disequilibrium. Evolution. 2010;64 :3638-42.

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Extensive fitness variation for sexually antagonistic characters has been detected in nature. However, current population genetic theory suggests that sexual antagonism is unlikely to play a major role in the maintenance of variation. We present a two-locus model of sexual antagonism that is capable of explaining greater fitness variance at equilibrium than previous single-locus models. The second genetic locus provides additional fitness variance in two complementary ways. First, linked loci can maintain gene variants that are lost in single-locus models of evolution, expanding the opportunity for polymorphism. Second, linkage disequilibrium results between any two sexually antagonistic genes, producing an excess of high- and low-fitness haplotypes. Our results uncover a unique contribution of conflicting selection pressures to the maintenance of variation, which simpler models that neglect genetic architecture overlook.


Patten, Manus MHaig, DavidUbeda, Franciscoeng2010/08/21 06:00Evolution. 2010 Dec;64(12):3638-42. doi: 10.1111/j.1558-5646.2010.01100.x.

Last updated on 09/18/2015