A nearly-neutral biallelic Moran model with biased mutation and linear and quadratic selection

Theor Popul Biol. 2021 Jun:139:1-17. doi: 10.1016/j.tpb.2021.03.003. Epub 2021 May 5.


In this article, a biallelic reversible mutation model with linear and quadratic selection is analysed. The approach reconnects to one proposed by Kimura (1979), who starts from a diffusion model and derives its equilibrium distribution up to a constant. We use a boundary-mutation Moran model, which approximates a general mutation model for small effective mutation rates, and derive its equilibrium distribution for polymorphic and monomorphic variants in small to moderately sized populations. Using this model, we show that biased mutation rates and linear selection alone can cause patterns of polymorphism within and substitution rates between populations that are usually ascribed to balancing or overdominant selection. We illustrate this using a data set of short introns and fourfold degenerate sites from Drosophila simulans and Drosophila melanogaster.

Keywords: Linear and quadratic selection; McDonald–Kreitman test; Moran model; Mutation bias; Mutation–selection–drift equilibrium; Nearly-neutral theory.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Drosophila melanogaster* / genetics
  • Drosophila simulans
  • Evolution, Molecular
  • Models, Genetic
  • Mutation
  • Mutation Rate*
  • Polymorphism, Genetic
  • Selection, Genetic