Logo of pnasPNASInfo for AuthorsSubscriptionsAboutThis Article
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. Oct 1984; 81(19): 6073–6077.
PMCID: PMC391861

Group selection for a polygenic behavioral trait: estimating the degree of population subdivision.


For assessing the degree of population subdivision, and therefore the extent to which group selection might favor an altruistic trait, an appropriate measure is Nei's GST, defined by (F0-F)/(1-F). F0 is the probability that two alleles drawn from the same group are identical in state and F is the probability for two alleles drawn at random from the entire population. These probabilities can be assessed from molecular polymorphisms. GST has a number of properties that make it useful for empirical studies. When the mutation rate is small relative to the migration rate and the reciprocal of the group size, GST depends mainly on the absolute number of migrants per generation, moves rapidly to near equilibrium, and is independent of the number of alleles. The relative homogenizing effect of migration in the island and stepping-stone models is not as different as might be expected; one immigrant chosen randomly from the rest of the population is only one to two times as effective as one from a neighboring group, appreciably exceeding 2 only when there are 1000 or more groups. The use of molecular data to estimate the degree of population subdivision may permit testable predictions of the extent of altruistic behavior.

Full text

Full text is available as a scanned copy of the original print version. Get a printable copy (PDF file) of the complete article (889K), or click on a page image below to browse page by page. Links to PubMed are also available for Selected References.

Selected References

These references are in PubMed. This may not be the complete list of references from this article.
  • Crow JF, Aoki K. Group selection for a polygenic behavioral trait: a differential proliferation model. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1982 Apr;79(8):2628–2631. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Hamilton WD. The genetical evolution of social behaviour. II. J Theor Biol. 1964 Jul;7(1):17–52. [PubMed]
  • Leigh EG. When does the good of the group override the advantage of the individual? Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1983 May;80(10):2985–2989. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Aoki K. A quantitative genetic model of reciprocal altruism: a condition for kin or group selection to prevail. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1983 Jul;80(13):4065–4068. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Nei M. Analysis of gene diversity in subdivided populations. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1973 Dec;70(12):3321–3323. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Takahata N. Gene identity and genetic differentiation of populations in the finite island model. Genetics. 1983 Jul;104(3):497–512. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Wright S. Isolation by Distance. Genetics. 1943 Mar;28(2):114–138. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Cockerham CC. Drift and mutation with a finite number of allelic states. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1984 Jan;81(2):530–534. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Nei M, Chakravarti A, Tateno Y. Mean and variance of FST in a finite number of incompletely isolated populations. Theor Popul Biol. 1977 Jun;11(3):291–306. [PubMed]
  • Maruyama T. Effective number of alleles in a subdivided population. Theor Popul Biol. 1970 Nov;1(3):273–306. [PubMed]
  • Maruyama T. Analysis of population structure. II. Two-dimensional stepping stone models of finite length and other geographically structured populations. Ann Hum Genet. 1971 Oct;35(2):179–196. [PubMed]
  • Maruyama T. Rate of decrease of genetic variability in a two-dimensional continuous population of finite size. Genetics. 1972 Apr;70(4):639–651. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Kimura M, Weiss GH. The Stepping Stone Model of Population Structure and the Decrease of Genetic Correlation with Distance. Genetics. 1964 Apr;49(4):561–576. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Engels WR. Evolution of altruistic behavior by kin selection: an alternative approach. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1983 Jan;80(2):515–518. [PMC free article] [PubMed]

Articles from Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America are provided here courtesy of National Academy of Sciences


Related citations in PubMed

See reviews...See all...

Cited by other articles in PMC

See all...


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

Recent Activity

Your browsing activity is empty.

Activity recording is turned off.

Turn recording back on

See more...