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Genetics. Jul 2003; 164(3): 1205–1219.
PMCID: PMC1462636

Genetic variability at neutral markers, quantitative trait land trait in a subdivided population under selection.


Genetic variability in a subdivided population under stabilizing and diversifying selection was investigated at three levels: neutral markers, QTL coding for a trait, and the trait itself. A quantitative model with additive effects was used to link genotypes to phenotypes. No physical linkage was introduced. Using an analytical approach, we compared the diversity within deme (H(S)) and the differentiation (F(ST)) at the QTL with the genetic variance within deme (V(W)) and the differentiation (Q(ST)) for the trait. The difference between F(ST) and Q(ST) was shown to depend on the relative amounts of covariance between QTL within and between demes. Simulations were used to study the effect of selection intensity, variance of optima among demes, and migration rate for an allogamous and predominantly selfing species. Contrasting dynamics of the genetic variability at markers, QTL, and trait were observed as a function of the level of gene flow and diversifying selection. The highest discrepancy among the three levels occurred under highly diversifying selection and high gene flow. Furthermore, diversifying selection might cause substantial heterogeneity among QTL, only a few of them showing allelic differentiation, while the others behave as neutral markers.

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Selected References

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