Logo of procbhomepageaboutsubmitalertseditorial board
Proc Biol Sci. Apr 7, 2004; 271(1540): 705–714.
PMCID: PMC1691650

Two steps forward, one step back: the pleiotropic effects of favoured alleles.

Abstract

Pleiotropy is one of the most commonly observed attributes of genes. Yet the extent and influence of pleiotropy have been underexplored in population genetics models. In this paper, I quantify the extent to which pleiotropy inhibits the spread of alleles in response to directional selection on a focal trait. Under the assumption that pleiotropic effects are extensive and deleterious, the fraction of alleles that are beneficial overall is severely limited by pleiotropy and rises nearly linearly with the strength of directional selection on the focal trait. Over a broad class of distribution of pleiotropic effects, the mean selective effect of those alleles that are beneficial overall is halved, on average, by pleiotropy. The fraction of new mutant alleles that are beneficial overall and that succeed in fixing within a population is even more severely limited when directional selection is weak, but it rises quadratically with the strength of directional selection. Finally, the mean selective effect of mutant alleles that are beneficial and succeed in fixing is reduced by one-third, on average, by pleiotropy. These results help to shape our understanding of the evolutionary inertia caused by pleiotropy.

Full Text

The Full Text of this article is available as a PDF (164K).

Selected References

These references are in PubMed. This may not be the complete list of references from this article.
  • Barton NH. Pleiotropic models of quantitative variation. Genetics. 1990 Mar;124(3):773–782. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Barton NH. Linkage and the limits to natural selection. Genetics. 1995 Jun;140(2):821–841. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Bulmer MG. The maintenance of the genetic variability of polygenic characters by heterozygous advantage. Genet Res. 1973 Aug;22(1):9–12. [PubMed]
  • Dobzhansky T, Holz AM. A Re-Examination of the Problem of Manifold Effects of Genes in Drosophila Melanogaster. Genetics. 1943 Jul;28(4):295–303. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Gillespie JH. Pleiotropic overdominance and the maintenance of genetic variation in polygenic characters. Genetics. 1984 Jun;107(2):321–330. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Griswold Cortland K, Whitlock Michael C. The genetics of adaptation: the roles of pleiotropy, stabilizing selection and drift in shaping the distribution of bidirectional fixed mutational effects. Genetics. 2003 Dec;165(4):2181–2192. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Hill WG, Robertson A. The effect of linkage on limits to artificial selection. Genet Res. 1966 Dec;8(3):269–294. [PubMed]
  • Keightley PD. The distribution of mutation effects on viability in Drosophila melanogaster. Genetics. 1994 Dec;138(4):1315–1322. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Keightley Peter D, Lynch Michael. Toward a realistic model of mutations affecting fitness. Evolution. 2003 Mar;57(3):683–689. [PubMed]
  • Kondrashov AS, Turelli M. Deleterious mutations, apparent stabilizing selection and the maintenance of quantitative variation. Genetics. 1992 Oct;132(2):603–618. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Lande R. The Genetic Covariance between Characters Maintained by Pleiotropic Mutations. Genetics. 1980 Jan;94(1):203–215. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Mackay TF, Lyman RF, Jackson MS. Effects of P element insertions on quantitative traits in Drosophila melanogaster. Genetics. 1992 Feb;130(2):315–332. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Orr HA. The evolutionary genetics of adaptation: a simulation study. Genet Res. 1999 Dec;74(3):207–214. [PubMed]
  • Otto SP, Jones CD. Detecting the undetected: estimating the total number of loci underlying a quantitative trait. Genetics. 2000 Dec;156(4):2093–2107. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Slatkin M, Frank SA. The quantitative genetic consequences of pleiotropy under stabilizing and directional selection. Genetics. 1990 May;125(1):207–213. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Taylor CF, Higgs PG. A population genetics model for multiple quantitative traits exhibiting pleiotropy and epistasis. J Theor Biol. 2000 Apr 21;203(4):419–437. [PubMed]
  • Turelli M. Effects of pleiotropy on predictions concerning mutation-selection balance for polygenic traits. Genetics. 1985 Sep;111(1):165–195. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Wagner GP. Multivariate mutation-selection balance with constrained pleiotropic effects. Genetics. 1989 May;122(1):223–234. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Zhang Xu-Sheng, Wang Jinliang, Hill William G. Pleiotropic model of maintenance of quantitative genetic variation at mutation-selection balance. Genetics. 2002 May;161(1):419–433. [PMC free article] [PubMed]

Articles from Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences are provided here courtesy of The Royal Society

Formats:

Related citations in PubMed

See reviews...See all...

Cited by other articles in PMC

See all...

Links

  • MedGen
    MedGen
    Related information in MedGen
  • PubMed
    PubMed
    PubMed citations for these articles

Recent Activity

Your browsing activity is empty.

Activity recording is turned off.

Turn recording back on

See more...