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Genetics. 1991 Jan;127(1):229-55.

Natural and sexual selection on many loci.

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  • 1Department of Genetics and Biometry, University College, London, England.


A method is developed that describes the effects on an arbitrary number of autosomal loci of selection on haploid and diploid stages, of nonrandom mating between haploid individuals, and of recombination. We provide exact recursions for the dynamics of allele frequencies and linkage disequilibria (nonrandom associations of alleles across loci). When selection is weak relative to recombination, our recursions provide simple approximations for the linkage disequilibria among arbitrary combinations of loci. We show how previous models of sex-independent natural selection on diploids, assortative mating between haploids, and sexual selection on haploids can be analyzed in this framework. Using our weak-selection approximations, we derive new results concerning the coevolution of male traits and female preferences under natural and sexual selection. In particular, we provide general expressions for the intensity of linkage-disequilibrium induced selection experienced by loci that contribute to female preferences for specific male traits. Our general results support the previous observation that these indirect selection forces are so weak that they are unlikely to dominate the evolution of preference-producing loci.

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