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      Beneficial Mutation–Selection Balance and the Effect of Linkage on Positive Selection

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      Genetics

      Genetics Society of America

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          Abstract

          When beneficial mutations are rare, they accumulate by a series of selective sweeps. But when they are common, many beneficial mutations will occur before any can fix, so there will be many different mutant lineages in the population concurrently. In an asexual population, these different mutant lineages interfere and not all can fix simultaneously. In addition, further beneficial mutations can accumulate in mutant lineages while these are still a minority of the population. In this article, we analyze the dynamics of such multiple mutations and the interplay between multiple mutations and interference between clones. These result in substantial variation in fitness accumulating within a single asexual population. The amount of variation is determined by a balance between selection, which destroys variation, and beneficial mutations, which create more. The behavior depends in a subtle way on the population parameters: the population size, the beneficial mutation rate, and the distribution of the fitness increments of the potential beneficial mutations. The mutation-selection balance leads to a continually evolving population with a steady-state fitness variation. This variation increases logarithmically with both population size and mutation rate and sets the rate at which the population accumulates beneficial mutations, which thus also grows only logarithmically with population size and mutation rate. These results imply that mutator phenotypes are less effective in larger asexual populations. They also have consequences for the advantages (or disadvantages) of sex via the Fisher-Muller effect; these are discussed briefly.

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          Most cited references 20

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          Some Genetic Aspects of Sex

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            The speed of evolution and maintenance of variation in asexual populations.

            The rate at which beneficial mutations accumulate determines how fast asexual populations evolve, but this is only partially understood. Some recent clonal-interference models suggest that evolution in large asexual populations is limited because smaller beneficial mutations are outcompeted by larger beneficial mutations that occur in different lineages within the same population. This analysis assumes that the important mutations fix one at a time; it ignores multiple beneficial mutations that occur in the lineage of an earlier beneficial mutation, before the first mutation in the series can fix. We focus on the effects of such multiple mutations. Our analysis predicts that the variation in fitness maintained by a continuously evolving population increases as the logarithm of the population size and logarithm of the mutation rate and thus yields a similar logarithmic increase in the speed of evolution. To test these predictions, we evolved asexual budding yeast in glucose-limited media at a range of population sizes and mutation rates. We find that their evolution is dominated by the accumulation of multiple mutations of moderate effect. Our results agree with our theoretical predictions and are inconsistent with the one-by-one fixation of mutants assumed by recent clonal-interference analysis.
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              Diminishing returns from mutation supply rate in asexual populations.

              Mutator genotypes with increased mutation rates may be especially important in microbial evolution if genetic adaptation is generally limited by the supply of mutations. In experimental populations of the bacterium Escherichia coli, the rate of evolutionary adaptation was proportional to the mutation supply rate only in particular circumstances of small or initially well-adapted populations. These experiments also demonstrate a "speed limit" on adaptive evolution in asexual populations, one that is independent of the mutation supply rate.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Genetics
                Genetics
                Genetics Society of America
                0016-6731
                1943-2631
                July 19 2007
                July 2007
                July 2007
                May 04 2007
                : 176
                : 3
                : 1759-1798
                Article
                10.1534/genetics.106.067678
                1931526
                17483432
                © 2007

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