Mutation-selection balance in mixed mating populations

J Theor Biol. 2007 May 21;246(2):355-65. doi: 10.1016/j.jtbi.2006.12.030. Epub 2007 Jan 5.


An approximation to the average number of deleterious mutations per gamete, Q, is derived from a model allowing selection on both zygotes and male gametes. Progeny are produced by either outcrossing or self-fertilization with fixed probabilities. The genetic model is a standard in evolutionary biology: mutations occur at unlinked loci, have equivalent effects, and combine multiplicatively to determine fitness. The approximation developed here treats individual mutation counts with a generalized Poisson model conditioned on the distribution of selfing histories in the population. The approximation is accurate across the range of parameter sets considered and provides both analytical insights and greatly increased computational speed. Model predictions are discussed in relation to several outstanding problems, including the estimation of the genomic deleterious mutation rates (U), the generality of "selective interference" among loci, and the consequences of gametic selection for the joint distribution of inbreeding depression and mating system across species. Finally, conflicting results from previous analytical treatments of mutation-selection balance are resolved to assumptions about the life-cycle and the initial fate of mutations.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Biological Evolution*
  • Fertilization / physiology
  • Germ Cells / physiology*
  • Inbreeding
  • Male
  • Mathematics
  • Models, Genetic
  • Mutation / genetics*
  • Reproduction / genetics*
  • Selection, Genetic
  • Spermatozoa / physiology
  • Zygote / physiology