Frequency-dependent selection maintains clonal diversity in an asexual organism
Andrew R Weeks, Ary A Hoffmann
PROCEEDINGS OF THE NATIONAL ACADEMY OF SCIENCES OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA | NATL ACAD SCIENCES | Published : 2008
Asexual organisms can be genetically variable and evolve through time, yet it is not known how genetic diversity is maintained in populations. In sexual organisms, negative frequency-dependent selection plays a role in maintaining diversity at some loci, but in asexual organisms, this mechanism could provide a general explanation for persistent genetic diversity because it acts on the whole genome and not just on some polymorphisms within a genome. Using field manipulations, we show that negative frequency-dependent selection maintains clonal diversity in an asexual mite species, and we link predicted equilibrium clonal frequencies to average frequencies in space and time. Intense frequency-..View full abstract
We thank Frank Donovan for field sites and Carla Sgro for discussions and comments on the manuscript. This work was supported by Australian Wool Innovation, the Grains Research and Development Corporation, and the Australian Research Council Special Research Centre Program.