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Evolution and Selection of Quantitative Traits$
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Bruce Walsh and Michael Lynch

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780198830870

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2018

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198830870.001.0001

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The Genetic Effective Size of a Population

The Genetic Effective Size of a Population

(p.59) 3 The Genetic Effective Size of a Population
Evolution and Selection of Quantitative Traits

Bruce Walsh

Michael Lynch

Oxford University Press

The effects of genetic drift usually assume an idealized population of constant size. This chapter shows how the population size for such an idealized population can be replaced with an effective population size for populations with age structure, unequal sex ratios, a history of expansion or contraction, inbreeding, and population subdivision. These demographic features impact the entire genome more or less equally. A relatively recent understanding is that selection at a site can dramatically reduce the local effective population size experienced by nearby linked sites (the Hill-Robertson effect). This can arise from background selection to remove deleterious new mutations or from selective sweeps wherein favorable new mutations are driven toward fixation. The Hill-Robertson effect is a general way to describe the fact that selection at a site makes selection are other linked sites less efficient, and, therefore, more neutral. This chapter discusses the implications of this finding for genome structure.

Keywords:   age structure, background selection, effective population size, Hill-Robertson effect, hitchhiking, inbreeding, selective sweeps, sex ratio

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