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Genetics. 2007 Jun;176(2):1101-18. Epub 2007 Apr 15.

Sex-specific viability, sex linkage and dominance in genomic imprinting.

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  • 1Department of Biological Sciences, Stanford University, Stanford, California 94305, USA. vancleve@stanford.edu

Abstract

Genomic imprinting is a phenomenon by which the expression of an allele at a locus depends on the parent of origin. Two different two-locus evolutionary models are presented in which a second locus modifies the imprinting status of the primary locus, which is under differential selection in males and females. In the first model, a modifier allele that imprints the primary locus invades the population when the average dominance coefficient among females and males is >12 and selection is weak. The condition for invasion is always heavily contingent upon the extent of dominance. Imprinting is more likely in the sex experiencing weaker selection only under some parameter regimes, whereas imprinting by either sex is equally likely under other regimes. The second model shows that a modifier allele that induces imprinting will increase when imprinting has a direct selective advantage. The results are not qualitatively dependent on whether the modifier locus is autosomal or X linked.

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