The effect of neutral nonadditive gene action on the quantitative index of population divergence.

Departamento de Genética, Facultad de Ciencias Biológicas, Universidad Complutense, 28040 Madrid, Spain.
Genetics (Impact Factor: 4.87). 08/2003; 164(4):1627-33.
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT For neutral additive genes, the quantitative index of population divergence (Q(ST)) is equivalent to Wright's fixation index (F(ST)). Thus, divergent or convergent selection is usually invoked, respectively, as a cause of the observed increase (Q(ST) > F(ST)) or decrease (Q(ST) < F(ST)) of Q(ST) from its neutral expectation (Q(ST) = F(ST)). However, neutral nonadditive gene action can mimic the additive expectations under selection. We have studied theoretically the effect of consecutive population bottlenecks on the difference F(ST) - Q(ST) for two neutral biallelic epistatic loci, covering all types of marginal gene action. With simple dominance, Q(ST) < F(ST) for only low to moderate frequencies of the recessive alleles; otherwise, Q(ST) > F(ST). Additional epistasis extends the condition Q(ST) < F(ST) to a broader range of frequencies. Irrespective of the type of nonadditive action, Q(ST) < F(ST) generally implies an increase of both the within-line additive variance after bottlenecks over its ancestral value (V(A)) and the between-line variance over its additive expectation (2F(ST)V(A)). Thus, both the redistribution of the genetic variance after bottlenecks and the F(ST) - Q(ST) value are governed largely by the marginal properties of single loci. The results indicate that the use of the F(ST) - Q(ST) criterion to investigate the relative importance of drift and selection in population differentiation should be restricted to pure additive traits.

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