Staff Publications

Staff Publications

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    'Staff publications' is the digital repository of Wageningen University & Research

    'Staff publications' contains references to publications authored by Wageningen University staff from 1976 onward.

    Publications authored by the staff of the Research Institutes are available from 1995 onwards.

    Full text documents are added when available. The database is updated daily and currently holds about 240,000 items, of which 72,000 in open access.

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Record number 387237
Title Exploring the effect of sex on empirical fitness landscapes
Author(s) Visser, J.A.G.M. de; Park, S.C.; Krug, J.
Source American Naturalist 174 (2009). - ISSN 0003-0147 - p. S15 - S30.
Department(s) Laboratory of Genetics
Publication type Refereed Article in a scientific journal
Publication year 2009
Keyword(s) shifting-balance process - artificial selection - recombination - evolution - populations - adaptation - epistasis - mutations - trajectories - advantage
Abstract The nature of epistasis has important consequences for the evolutionary significance of sex and recombination. Recent efforts to find negative epistasis as a source of negative linkage disequilibrium and associated long-term advantage to sex have yielded little support. Sign epistasis, where the sign of the fitness effects of alleles varies across genetic backgrounds, is responsible for the ruggedness of the fitness landscape, with several unexplored implications for the evolution of sex. Here, we describe fitness landscapes for two sets of strains of the asexual fungus Aspergillus niger involving all combinations of five mutations. We find that 30% of the single-mutation fitness effects are positive despite their negative effect in the wild-type strain and that several local fitness maxima and minima are present. We then compare adaptation of sexual and asexual populations on these empirical fitness landscapes by using simulations. The results show a general disadvantage of sex on these rugged landscapes, caused by the breakdown by recombination of genotypes on fitness peaks. Sex facilitates movement to the global peak only for some parameter values on one landscape, indicating its dependence on the landscape’s topography. We discuss possible reasons for the discrepancy between our results and the reports of faster adaptation of sexual populations
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