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Genetics. 1990 May;125(1):215-30.

Frequency-dependent selection: the high potential for permanent genetic variation in the diallelic, pairwise interaction model.

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Department of Genetics, University of Georgia, Athens 30602.


A detailed analytic and numerical study is made of the potential for permanent genetic variation in frequency-dependent models based on pairwise interactions among genotypes at a single diallelic locus. The full equilibrium structure and qualitative gene-frequency dynamics are derived analytically for a symmetric model, in which pairwise fitnesses are chiefly determined by the genetic similarity of the individuals involved. This is supplemented by an extensive numerical investigation of the general model, the symmetric model, and nine other special cases. Together the results show that there is a high potential for permanent genetic diversity in the pairwise interaction model, and provide insight into the extent to which various forms of genotypic interactions enhance or reduce this potential. Technically, although two stable polymorphic equilibria are possible, the increased likelihood of maintaining both alleles, and the poor performance of protected polymorphism conditions as a measure of this likelihood, are primarily due to a greater variety and frequency of equilibrium patterns with one stable polymorphic equilibrium, in conjunction with a disproportionately large domain of attraction for stable internal equilibria.

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