GENE FLOW FROM DOMESTICATED SPECIES TO WILD RELATIVES: MIGRATION LOAD IN A MODEL OF MULTIVARIATE SELECTION

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Abstract

Domesticated species frequently spread their genes into populations of wild relatives through interbreeding. The domestication process often involves artificial selection for economically desirable traits. This can lead to an indirect response in unknown correlated traits and a reduction in fitness of domesticated individuals in the wild. Previous models for the effect of gene flow from domesticated species to wild relatives have assumed that evolution occurs in one dimension. Here, I develop a quantitative genetic model for the balance between migration and multivariate stabilizing selection. Different forms of correlational selection consistent with a given observed ratio between average fitness of domesticated and wild individuals offsets the phenotypic means at migration–selection balance away from predictions based on simpler one-dimensional models. For almost all parameter values, correlational selection leads to a reduction in the migration load. For ridge selection, this reduction arises because the distance the immigrants deviates from the local optimum in effect is reduced. For realistic parameter values, however, the effect of correlational selection on the load is small, suggesting that simpler one-dimensional models may still be adequate in terms of predicting mean population fitness and viability.

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