Coalescent Times and Patterns of Genetic Diversity in Species with Facultative Sex: Effects of Gene Conversion, Population Structure, and Heterogeneity

Matthew Hartfield, Stephen I Wright, Aneil F Agrawal

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Many diploid organisms undergo facultative sexual reproduction. However, little is currently known concerning the distribution of neutral genetic variation among facultative sexual organisms except in very simple cases. Understanding this distribution is important when making inferences about rates of sexual reproduction, effective population size, and demographic history. Here we extend coalescent theory in diploids with facultative sex to consider gene conversion, selfing, population subdivision, and temporal and spatial heterogeneity in rates of sex. In addition to analytical results for two-sample coalescent times, we outline a coalescent algorithm that accommodates the complexities arising from partial sex; this algorithm can be used to generate multisample coalescent distributions. A key result is that when sex is rare, gene conversion becomes a significant force in reducing diversity within individuals. This can reduce genomic signatures of infrequent sex (i.e., elevated within-individual allelic sequence divergence) or entirely reverse the predicted patterns. These models offer improved methods for assessing null patterns of molecular variation in facultative sexual organisms.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)297-312
Number of pages16
JournalGenetics
Volume202
Issue number1
Early online date19 Nov 2015
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 5 Jan 2016

Keywords

  • Algorithms
  • Computer Simulation
  • Diploidy
  • Gene Conversion
  • Genetic Heterogeneity
  • Genetic Variation
  • Islands
  • Models, Biological
  • Parthenogenesis
  • Population Dynamics
  • Reproduction
  • Self-Fertilization
  • Sex
  • Time

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