You are not currently logged in.
Access your personal account or get JSTOR access through your library or other institution:
If You Use a Screen ReaderThis content is available through Read Online (Free) program, which relies on page scans. Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Risk of Population Extinction from Fixation of New Deleterious Mutations
Vol. 48, No. 5 (Oct., 1994), pp. 1460-1469
Published by: Society for the Study of Evolution
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2410240
Page Count: 10
Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Preview not available
The fixation of new deleterious mutations is analyzed for a randomly mating population of constant size with no environmental or demographic stochasticity. Mildly deleterious mutations are far more important in causing loss of fitness and eventual extinction than are lethal and semilethal mutations in populations with effective sizes, Ne, larger than a few individuals. If all mildly deleterious mutations have the same selection coefficient, s against heterozygotes and 2s against homozygotes, the mean time to extinction, t, is asymptotically proportional to e4Nes /Ne for 4Nes > 1. Nearly neutral mutations pose the greatest risk of extinction for stable populations, because the magnitude of selection coefficient that minimizes t is about s = 0.4/Ne. The influence of variance in selection coefficients among mutations is analyzed assuming a gamma distribution of s, with mean s and variance σ2 s. The mean time to extinction increases with variance in selection coefficients if s is near s, but can decrease greatly if s is much larger than s. For a given coefficient of variation of s, c = σs/s, the mean time to extinction is asymptotically proportional to N1+1/c2 e for 4Nes > 1. When s is exponentially distributed, (c = 1) t is asymptotically proportional to N2 e. These results in conjunction with data on the rate and magnitude of mildly deleterious mutations in Drosophila melanogaster indicate that even moderately large populations, with effective sizes on the order of Ne = 103, may incur a substantial risk of extinction from the fixation of new mutations.
Evolution © 1994 Society for the Study of Evolution