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Multilocus population genetics with weak epistasis. II. Equilibrium properties of multilocus models: what is the unit of selection?


Multilocus population genetics with weak epistasis. II. Equilibrium properties of multilocus models: what is the unit of selection?



Genetics 112(1): 157-171



ISSN/ISBN: 0016-6731

PMID: 3943708

Using perturbation techniques, I study the equilibrium of deterministic discrete time multilocus models with weak epistasis. The most important results are on the relationship between epistasis and disequilibrium. Disequilibrium involving a particular set of loci reflects only epistasis simultaneously involving those loci. Moreover, all the disequilibria of all orders vary approximately as the inverse of the probability of at least one recombination event among the loci involved. Finally, higher order disequilibria among loci will be lower than lower order ones, even if the level of epistasis is the same at all orders. In this sense, the unit of selection is small. However, given the larger number of higher order disequilibria, these higher order disequilibria may play an important role in the computation of gametic frequencies from allelic frequencies in models with a large number of loci. Finally, I show that epistasis between blocks of loci will be averages of epistatic effects, not additions of epistatic effects. Thus, failure to find significant epistasis on a chromosomal basis does not rule out the importance of epistatic effects.

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Accession: 005941754

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