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Influences of Dominance and Evolution of Sex in Finite Diploid Populations

posted on 26.05.2015, 16:12 authored by Yujun Chang, Yuan Hua, Xiaoqian Jiang, Shiheng Tao

Most eukaryotes reproduce sexually. Although the benefits of sex in diploids mainly stem from recombination and segregation, the relative effects of recombination and segregation are relatively less known. In this study, we adopt an infinite loci model to illustrate how dominance coefficient of mutations affects the above-mentioned genetic events. However, we assume mutational effects to be independent and also ignore the effects of epistasis within loci. Our simulations show that with different levels of dominance, segregation and recombination may play different roles. In particular, recombination more commonly has a major impact on the evolution of sex when deleterious mutations are partially recessive. In contrast, when deleterious mutations are dominant, segregation becomes more important than recombination, a finding that is consistent with previous studies stating that segregation, rather than recombination, is more likely to drive the evolution of sex. Moreover, beneficial mutations alone remarkably increases the effects of recombination. We also note that populations favor sexual reproduction when deleterious mutations become more dominant or beneficial mutations become more recessive. Overall, these results illustrate that the existence of dominance is an important mechanism that affects the evolution of sex.