Sex initiates adaptive evolution by recombination between beneficial loci

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Scheuerl , T & Stelzer , C-P 2017 , ' Sex initiates adaptive evolution by recombination between beneficial loci ' , PLoS One , vol. 12 , no. 6 , 0177895 . https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0177895

Title: Sex initiates adaptive evolution by recombination between beneficial loci
Author: Scheuerl, Thomas; Stelzer, Claus-Peter
Contributor organization: Department of Food and Nutrition
Faculty of Biological and Environmental Sciences
Date: 2017-06-02
Language: eng
Number of pages: 11
Belongs to series: PLoS One
ISSN: 1932-6203
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0177895
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10138/232802
Abstract: Current theory proposes that sex can increase genetic variation and produce high fitness genotypes if genetic associations between alleles at different loci are non-random. In case beneficial and deleterious alleles at different loci are in linkage disequilibrium, sex may i) recombine beneficial alleles of different loci, ii) liberate beneficial alleles from genetic backgrounds of low fitness, or iii) recombine deleterious mutations for more effective elimination. In our study, we found that the first mechanism dominated the initial phase of adaptive evolution in Brachionus calyciflorus rotifers during a natural selection experiment. We used populations that had been locally adapted to two environments previously, creating a linkage disequilibrium between beneficial and deleterious alleles at different loci in a combined environment. We observed the highest fitness increase when several beneficial alleles of different loci could be recombined, while the other mechanisms were ineffective. Our study thus provides evidence for the hypothesis that sex can speed up adaptation by recombination between beneficial alleles of different loci, in particular during early stages of adaptive evolution in our system. We also suggest that the benefits of sex might change over time and state of adaptive progress.
Subject: DELETERIOUS MUTATIONS
MONOGONONT ROTIFERS
YEAST POPULATIONS
SPEEDS ADAPTATION
SELECTION
LINKAGE
REPRODUCTION
DIAPAUSE
DYNAMICS
1181 Ecology, evolutionary biology
Peer reviewed: Yes
Rights: cc_by
Usage restriction: openAccess
Self-archived version: publishedVersion


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