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Evolution. 2005 Dec;59(12):2525-32.

The evolution of intratetrad mating rates.

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Department of Biology, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, Virginia 22903, USA.


Intratetrad mating, the fusion of gametes formed in a single meiosis, has unusual consequences for genetic diversity, especially in genome regions linked to mating type loci. Here we investigate the fate of modifier alleles that alter the rate of intratetrad mating, under models of heterozygote advantage and of genetic load resulting from recurrent mutation. In both cases, intratetrad mating is favored if the recombination rate between the selected locus and mating type is less than the frequency of lethal recessive alleles at that locus in the population. Positive feedback often accelerates the invasion of modifiers to the intratetrad mating rate. Recombination rate and intratetrad mating rate exert indirect selection on one another, resulting in a cascading decline in outcrossing, even in the absence of any cost of sex. However, under recurrent mutation, alleles for obligate intratetrad mating invade only very slowly, perhaps explaining why outcrossing can persist at low frequencies in a largely intratetrad mating population.

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