Compensatory evolution in diploid populations.
ABSTRACT Compensatory mutations are individually deleterious but harmless in appropriate combinations either at more than two sites within a gene or on separate genes. Considering that dominance effects of selection and heterodimer formation of gene products may affect the rate of compensatory evolution, we investigate compensatory neutral mutation models for diploid populations. Our theoretical analysis on the average time until fixation of compensatory mutations shows that these factors play an important role in reducing the fixation time of compensatory mutations if mutation rates are not low. Compensatory evolution of heterodimers is shown to occur more easily if the deleterious effects of single mutants are recessive.