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Genetic loads under fitness-dependent mutation rates A. F. AGRAWAL

Summary: Genetic loads under fitness-dependent mutation rates
Department of Biology, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN, USA
genetic load;
mutation rate;
sexual reproduction.
Although much theory depends on the genome-wide rate of deleterious
mutations, good estimates of the mutation rate are scarce and remain
controversial. Furthermore, mutation rate may not be constant, and a recent
study suggests that mutation rates are higher in mildly stressful environments.
If mutation rate is a function of condition, then individuals carrying more
mutations will tend to be in worse condition and therefore produce more
mutations. Here I examine the mean fitnesses of sexual and asexual
populations evolving under such condition-dependent mutation rates. The
equilibrium mean fitness of a sexual population depends on the shape of the
curve relating fitness to mutation rate. If mutation rate declines synergistically
with increasing condition the mean fitness will be much lower than if
mutation rate declines at a diminishing rate. In contrast, asexual populations


Source: Agrawal, Aneil F. - Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of Toronto


Collections: Environmental Sciences and Ecology