Selection on a modifier of recombination rate due to linked deleterious mutations

Snæbjörn Pálsson*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


Several models have been suggested to explain the origin and maintenance of recombination. Here I present the results from computer simulations of multilocus haploid and diploid genotypes in small populations. Each chromosome consisted of 1001 loci where deleterious mutations occurred. At "equilibrium" for mutation-selection-genetic drift balance a single recombination variant was introduced to the population in the middle of a chromosome. On average 75,000 replicates for each combination of parameters were followed to fixation or loss of the modifier allele. The results show that, in a small population, increased recombination can be selected, even in the absence of epistasis or beneficial mutations. The effect of the mutation rate for deleterious mutations depends on the ploidy level and the recessiveness of deleterious mutations. A higher deleterious mutation rate is required for an increase in recombination rate to be favored in haploid populations. Increased recombination could not evolve in the case of strong associative overdominance.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)22-26
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Heredity
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2002

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
From the Department of Conservation Biology and Genetics, Uppsala, Sweden. S. Pálsson is currently at the Institute of Biology, University of Iceland, Grensásvegur 12, 108 Reykjavík, Iceland. I thank Daniel Falush, Martin Lascoux, Pekka Pamilo, and Philip Hedrick for useful comments. This study was supported by the Icelandic Research Counsil and the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences. Address correspondence to Snæbjörn Páls-son at the address above or e-mail: [email protected].


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