Adaptive Dynamics in Allele Space: Evolution of Genetic Polymorphism by Small Mutations in a Heterogeneous Environment.
We investigate how a plymorphism of distinctly different alleles can evolve in an initially monomorphic population under frequency-dependent selection if mutations have only a small phenotypic effect. We consider the case of a single additive locus with a continuum of potential allele types in a diploid outbreeding population. As a specific example, we use a version of Levene's (1953) soft selection model, where stabilizing selection acts on a continuous trait within each of two habitats. If the optimal phenotypes within the habitats are sufficiently different, then two distinctly different alleles evolve gradually from a single ancestral allele. In a wide range of parameter values, the two locally optimal phenotypes will be realized by one of the homozygotes and the heterozygote, rather than the two homozygotes. Unlike the haploid analogue of the model, there can be multiple polymorphic evolutionary attractors with different probabilities of convergence.
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