Cyclical environmental changes as a factor maintaining genetic polymorphism. 2. Diploid selection for an additive trait

Abraham B. Korol, Valery M. Kirzhner, Yeafim I. Ronin, Eviatar Nevo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The subject of this paper is polymorphism maintenance due to stabilizing selection with a moving optimum. It was shown that in case of two-locus additive control of the selected trait, global polymorphism is possible only when the geometric mean fitnesses of double homozygotes averaged over the period are lower than that of the single heterozygotes and of the double heterozygote (with a multiplier [1-r](P), which depends on recombination rate r and period length p). But local stability of polymorphism cannot be excluded even if geometric mean fitnesses of all double homozygotes are higher than that of all heterozygotes. We proved, that for logarithmically convex fitness functions, cyclical changes of the optimum cannot help in polymorphism maintenance in case of additive control of the selected trait by two equal loci. However, within the same class of fitness functions, nonequal gene action and/or dominance effect for one or both loci may lead to local polymorphism stability with large enough polymorphism attracting domain. The higher the intensity of selection and closer the linkage between selected loci the larger is this domain. Note that even simple cyclical selection could result in two forms of polymorphic limiting behavior: (a) usually expected forced cycle with a period equal to that of environmental changes; and (b) 'supercycles,' nondumping auto-oscillations with a period comprising of hundreds of forced oscillation periods.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1432-1441
Number of pages10
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 1996


  • Moving optimum
  • nonequal gene effects
  • polymorphism
  • supercycles
  • two-locus models

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Genetics
  • General Agricultural and Biological Sciences


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