Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Genetics. 1979 Nov;93(3):773-95.

Excursions along the Interface between Disruptive and Stabilizing Selection.

Author information

  • 1Department of Genetics, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington 98195.


When a polygenic character is exposed to natural selection in which the curve giving fitness as a function of phenotype is a mixture of two Gaussian (normal) curves, the population may respond either by evolving to a specialized phenotype near one of the two optimum phenotypes, or by evolving to a generalized phenotype between them. Using approximate multivariate normal distribution methods, it is demonstrated that the condition for selection to result in a specialized phenotype is that the curve of fitness as a function of breeding value be bimodal. This implies that a specialized phenotype is more likely to result the higher is the heritability of the character. Numerical iterations of four-locus models and algebraic analysis of a symmetric two-locus model generally support the conclusions of the normal approximation.

PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for HighWire Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Support Center