The recombination frequency (rf) is known to be dependent not only on genetic background, but on the environment as well. In our numerical experiments we examine the role of the dependence of recombination on environment in the evolution of the genetic system. Variable rf-strategies, ensuring mean fitnesses greater than the optimum constant rf*-level, exist in both cyclical and stochastic environments. The conclusion that environment dependent recombination is evolutionary advantageous can be shown to be valid when variation in the frequency of recombination modifiers rather than mean fitness (which implies the concept of group selection) is used as a criterion for strategy comparisons. In this case, an evolutionary advantageous type of variable rf-strategies is the one ensuring restricted genetic variability dispersion in an optimal environment and an increase in released variation with the deterioration of environmental conditions. Another important result is that, taking into account the dependence of recombination on environment, it is possible to account for the maintenance of a higher level of population recombination than that predicted by models with the constant rf-level. On the whole, the data obtained indicate that the direct influence of external factors upon the rf-value could have been a significant factor in the evolution of the genetic system.
- Constant and variable rf-strategies
- Dependence of recombination on environment
- Evolution of recombination
- Mean fitness
- Selection of rec-genes
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Agronomy and Crop Science