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Negative selection (natural selection): Wikis


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Negative selection, in natural selection, is the selective removal of alleles that are deleterious. This can result in stabilizing selection through the purging of deleterious variations that arise. It is also known as purifying selection[1].

Purging of deleterious alleles can be achieved on the population genetics level, with as little as a single point mutation being the unit of selection. In such a case, individuals bearing the allele selected against might simply have less offspring on average generation after generation.

In the case of strong negative selection on a locus, the purging of deleterious variants will result in the occasional removal of linked variation, producing a decrease in the level of variation surrounding the locus under selection. The accidental purging of non-deleterious alleles due to such spatial proximity to deleterious alleles is called background selection.[2] This effect increases with higher mutation rate but decreases with higher recombination rate.[3]


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  2. ^ Charlesworth, B., Morgan, M. T. and Charlesworth, D. 1993. The effect of deleterious mutations on neutral molecular variation. Genetics 134, 1289-1303. Link
  3. ^ Hudson RR, Kaplan NL (December 1995). "Deleterious background selection with recombination". Genetics 141 (4): 1605–17. PMID 8601498. 


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