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Genetics. 2000 Jun;155(2):909-19.

Genetic drift in an infinite population. The pseudohitchhiking model.

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Section of Evolution and Ecology, University of California, Davis 95616, USA.


Selected substitutions at one locus can induce stochastic dynamics that resemble genetic drift at a closely linked neutral locus. The pseudohitchhiking model is a one-locus model that approximates these effects and can be used to describe the major consequences of linked selection. As the changes in neutral allele frequencies when hitchhiking are rapid, diffusion theory is not appropriate for studying neutral dynamics. A stationary distribution and some results on substitution processes are presented that use the theory of continuous-time Markov processes with discontinuous sample paths. The coalescent of the pseudohitchhiking model is shown to have a random number of branches at each node, which leads to a frequency spectrum that is different from that of the equilibrium neutral model. If genetic draft, the name given to these induced stochastic effects, is a more important stochastic force than genetic drift, then a number of paradoxes that have plagued population genetics disappear.

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