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Allele Frequency Distribution Under Recurrent Selective Sweeps

  • Yuseob Kim
Copyright © 2006 by the Genetics Society of America
Publication Date
Mar 01, 2006


The allele frequency of a neutral variant in a population is pushed either upward or downward by directional selection on a linked beneficial mutation (“selective sweeps”). DNA sequences sampled after the fixation of the beneficial allele thus contain an excess of rare neutral alleles. This study investigates the allele frequency distribution under selective sweep models using analytic approximation and simulation. First, given a single selective sweep at a fixed time, I derive an expression for the sampling probabilities of neutral mutants. This solution can be used to estimate the time of the fixation of a beneficial allele from sequence data. Next, I obtain an approximation to mean allele frequencies under recurrent selective sweeps. Under recurrent sweeps, the frequency spectrum is skewed toward rare alleles. However, the excess of high-frequency derived alleles, previously shown to be a signature of single selective sweeps, disappears with recurrent sweeps. It is shown that, using this approximation and multilocus polymorphism data, genomewide parameters of directional selection can be estimated.

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