Maintenance of Quantitative Genetic Variance Under Partial Self-Fertilization, with Implications for Evolution of Selfing

Abstract : We analyze two models of the maintenance of quantitative genetic variance in a mixed-mating system of self-fertilization and outcrossing. In both models purely additive genetic variance is maintained by mutation and recombination under stabilizing selection on the phenotype of one or more quantitative characters. The Gaussian allele model (GAM) involves a finite number of unlinked loci in an infinitely large population, with a normal distribution of allelic effects at each locus within lineages selfed for τ consecutive generations since their last outcross. The infinitesimal model for partial selfing (IMS) involves an infinite number of loci in a large but finite population, with a normal distribution of breeding values in lineages of selfing age τ. In both models a stable equilibrium genetic variance exists, the outcrossed equilibrium, nearly equal to that under random mating, for all selfing rates, r, up to critical value, Embedded Image, the purging threshold, which approximately equals the mean fitness under random mating relative to that under complete selfing. In the GAM a second stable equilibrium, the purged equilibrium, exists for any positive selfing rate, with genetic variance less than or equal to that under pure selfing; as r increases above Embedded Image the outcrossed equilibrium collapses sharply to the purged equilibrium genetic variance. In the IMS a single stable equilibrium genetic variance exists at each selfing rate; as r increases above Embedded Image the equilibrium genetic variance drops sharply and then declines gradually to that maintained under complete selfing. The implications for evolution of selfing rates, and for adaptive evolution and persistence of predominantly selfing species, provide a theoretical basis for the classical view of Stebbins that predominant selfing constitutes an “evolutionary dead end.”
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Russell Lande, Emmanuelle Porcher. Maintenance of Quantitative Genetic Variance Under Partial Self-Fertilization, with Implications for Evolution of Selfing. Genetics, Genetics Society of America, 2015, 200 (3), pp.891-906. ⟨10.1534/genetics.115.176693⟩. ⟨hal-02265740⟩

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