Balancing Selection in Human Evolution
Published Online: 30 APR 2008
Copyright © 2001 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. All rights reserved.
How to Cite
Vallender, E. J. and Johnson, W. E. 2008. Balancing Selection in Human Evolution. eLS. .
- Published Online: 30 APR 2008
Selection can act to maintain alleles within a population through many mechanisms that, taken together, constitute balancing selection. Over the course of primate and human evolution, balancing selection has repeatedly acted upon the species. Though ancient causes and effects may never be fully known or appreciated, current, ongoing, balancing selection can be observed in the human genome today. This is particularly true in genes related to immune response and pathogen defence, reproductive fitness and environmental stressors. In understanding balancing selection, it is possible to see the history of humanity's natural challenges as well as evolution's response.
- balancing selection;
- human evolution;
- human polymorphism