Reciprocally imprinted genes and the response to selection on one sex

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We explore the theoretical consequences of limiting selection to males for the evolution of imprinted genes. We find that the efficiency of male-limited selection depends on the pattern of imprinting at an imprinted locus. When selection is strong, the maternally expressed pattern of imprinting allows faster genetic change than the reciprocal, paternally expressed pattern. When selection is relatively weak, the pattern of imprinting that permits a greater rate of genetic response to selection depends on the frequency of the favored allele: the paternally expressed pattern permits faster genetic change than does the maternally expressed pattern at low frequencies of a favored allele; at higher frequencies of a favored allele, however, the maternally expressed pattern is again more conducive to a genetic response. To our knowledge, this is the first theoretical description of a difference between the two reciprocal patterns of imprinting. The selective efficiency bias we identify between the two patterns of imprinting has implications for natural and livestock populations, which we discuss.


Patten, Manus MHaig, DavidengResearch Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.2008/06/20 09:00Genetics. 2008 Jul;179(3):1389-94. doi: 10.1534/genetics.107.077651. Epub 2008 Jun 18.

Last updated on 09/18/2015