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Jun 30, 2010
Proceedings Of The National Academy Of Sciences Of The United States Of America
It often has been assumed that, for infinite random mating populations in a constant environment, natural selection will favor genotypes at a neutral modifier locus that minimize the mutation rate. Mathematical modeling of this process confirms this assertion, independent of the selection regime. The same model under conditions of complete selfing can produce, under certain nondegenerate overdominance conditions, an optimum mutation rate below which increased mutation is favored and above which decreased mutation is favored. This occurs with unidirectional mutation models and a class of reversible mutation models with fitness overdominance. This is the first time that such a modifier optimum has been produced analytically for an infinite population in a constant environment.

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