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Evolution. 2000 Apr;54(2):691-5.

Balancing selection on a floral polymorphism.

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  • 1Department of Zoology, Evolution, Ecology, Duke University, Durham, North Carolina 27708-0325, USA. banu@u.arizona.edu


The common morning glory, Ipomoea purpurea, exhibits a flower color polymorphism at the W locus throughout the southeastern North America. The W locus controls whether flowers will be darkly pigmented (WW), lightly pigmented (Ww), or white with pigmented rays (ww). In this report, we describe results of a perturbation, or convergence, experiment using five plots designed to determine whether balancing selection operates on the W locus. The pattern of gene frequency changes obtained are indicative of balancing selection operating at the W locus, providing direct evidence that both the alleles are actively maintained by selection.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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