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Effects of intra-gene fitness interactions on the benefit of sexual recombination

Watson, Richard A., Weinreich, Daniel and Wakeley, John (2006) Effects of intra-gene fitness interactions on the benefit of sexual recombination Biochemical Society Transactions, 34, (4), pp. 560-561.

Record type: Article


Whereas spontaneous point mutation operates on nucleotides individually, sexual recombination manipulates the set of nucleotides within an allele as an essentially particulate unit. In principle, these two different scales of variation enable selection to follow fitness gradients in two different spaces: in nucleotide sequence space, and allele sequence space, respectively. Epistasis for fitness at these two scales, between nucleotides and between genes, may be qualitatively different and significantly influence the advantage of mutation-based and recombination-based evolutionary trajectories, respectively. We examine scenarios where the genetic sequence within a gene strongly influences the fitness effect of a mutation in that gene, whereas epistatic interactions between sites in different genes are weak or absent. We find that, in cases where beneficial alleles of a gene differ from one another at several nucleotide sites, sexual populations can exhibit enormous benefit over asexual populations: not only discovering fit genotypes faster than asexual populations, but also discovering high-fitness genotypes that are effectively not evolvable in asexual populations.

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Published date: 2006
Additional Information: This is a PRE-PUBLICATION version - use published version for citations
Keywords: allele, epistasis, Fisher/Muller model, fitness interaction, genotype, mutational landscape, sexual recombination
Organisations: Agents, Interactions & Complexity


Local EPrints ID: 262880
ISSN: 0300-5127
PURE UUID: 5bac9ba7-4ae0-4ddc-81f7-35779c0831cd

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Date deposited: 01 Aug 2006
Last modified: 18 Jul 2017 08:47

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Author: Daniel Weinreich
Author: John Wakeley

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