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Keywords:

  • linkage disequilibrium;
  • pseudo-autosomal region;
  • recombination;
  • sexual antagonism;
  • sex chromosomes

Sex differences in the fitness effects of alleles at a single locus (intralocus sexual antagonism, or SA) have several evolutionary consequences. Among the consequences of SA, polymorphisms at genes partially linked to the sex-determining region of the sex chromosome pair potentially drive the evolution of suppressed recombination between the sex chromosomes. Understanding the conditions under which SA polymorphism can exist at such pseudo-autosomal (or PAR) loci should increase understanding of the evolution of recombination between sex chromosome pairs, and can help predict when we may expect potentially empirically detectable allele frequency differences between the sexes. Models so far published have concluded that PAR genes can maintain SA polymorphisms over a wider range of selection coefficients than autosomal ones, but have used restrictive assumptions. We expand the modeling of SA alleles at a single locus with the full range of degrees of linkage to the male-specific region, to include strong or weak selection and the possibility of different dominance coefficients in the two sexes. We confirm the previous major conclusion that SA polymorphisms are generally maintained in a larger region of parameter space if the locus is in the PAR than if it is autosomal.