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Trends Ecol Evol. 2005 Sep;20(9):468-70. Epub 2005 Jul 6.

Genetic variability under mutation selection balance.

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Institute of Evolutionary Biology, School of Biological Sciences, University of Edinburgh, West Mains Road, Edinburgh, UK, EH9 3JT.


A fundamental problem in evolutionary genetics is understanding how high levels of genetic variation in quantitative traits are maintained in natural populations. Variation is removed by the natural selection of individuals with optimal phenotypes and is recovered by mutation; however, previous analyses had indicated that a mutation-selection balance was insufficient to maintain observed levels of genetic variation in these traits. Using more general models, however, it has recently been shown that it is indeed a sufficient mechanism. These models can be used to explore other phenomena in evolutionary biology.


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