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Selection in Finite Populations. III. an Experimental Examination

The Genetics Society of America
Publication Date
  • Investigations
  • Biology
  • Mathematics


The theory determining the probability of fixation of new mutants in a population that allows increased adaptation has been developed by Kimura. Two experimental systems were used to examine this theory. First, alleles were introduced at low frequencies into populations and their fate observed. The second approach was to follow populations with closely linked mutants that were introduced on different chromosomes and to follow the fate of favorable recombinants. These experiments allowed the investigation of the appropriateness of the mathematical model for the particular biological system. In the experiments reported here using two X-linked Drosophila mutants, y and w, the predictions of the theory were reasonably fulfilled in the first experimental system (introduction of new alleles), but not in the second system (favorable recombinants). However, the theoretical framework seems quite robust in that it allowed a satisfactory explanation of the experimental results for the second system as well. The probability of, and the time until, production of a favorable recombinant is discussed.

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