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Heredity (Edinb). 2005 May;94(5):497-500.

Disequilibrium in some Cepaea populations.

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The Manchester Museum, University of Manchester, Oxford Road, Manchester M13 9PL, UK.


Phenotypic disequilibrium is a measure available, along with morph frequency, in many published sets of sample data recording the polymorphism of shell colour and pattern in the snail Cepaea nemoralis. The relation of disequilibrium to morph frequency for the colour (pink/yellow) and banding (unbanded/banded) loci has been examined for a large and widespread set of data. The direction of disequilibrium is a function of frequency at the two loci in a way that suggests that selection favours combinations of common morphs, whichever they are. This could indicate that such combinations are common because they have been selected. The data are therefore consistent with the proposal that populations are generally subject to selection of varying directions at different places and times, acting on the phenotype. In combination with migration, such selection could lead to prolonged polymorphism.

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