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Proc Biol Sci. 2005 Jan 22;272(1559):211-7.

Comparing the effects of genetic drift and fluctuating selection on genotype frequency changes in the scarlet tiger moth.

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1
Department of Mathematics and Statistics, PO Box 68 (Gustaf Hällströminkatu 2b), FIN-00014 University of Helsinki, Finland. bob.ohara@helsinki.fi

Abstract

One of the recurring arguments in evolutionary biology is whether evolution occurs principally through natural selection or through neutral processes such as genetic drift. A 60-year-long time series of changes in the genotype frequency of a colour polymorphism of the scarlet tiger moth, Callimorpha dominula, was used to compare the relative effects of genetic drift and variable natural selection. The analysis showed that most of the variation in frequency was the result of genetic drift. In addition, although selection was acting, mean fitness barely increased. This supports the 'Red Queen's hypothesis' that long-term improvements in fitness may not occur, because populations have to keep pace with changes in the environment.

PMID:
15695213
PMCID:
PMC1634953
DOI:
10.1098/rspb.2004.2929
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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