Abstracts (first author)


A little sex goes a long way: clonal interference due to spatial structure can be alleviated by low rates of recombination

Author(s): Weissman DB, Barton NH


The spatial ranges over which populations occur are often much larger than the scales over which individuals migration and interact in a generation, and the resulting spatial structure can have large effects on adapting populations. In particular, the time for a beneficial allele to sweep through the population can be greatly increased if it must spread as a traveling wave over the whole range. It has recently been shown that the resulting increase in clonal interference limits the speed at which spatially-structured asexual populations can adapt, and that this limiting speed is much lower than that of well-mixed populations of the same size. We show that this is not the case for sexual populations: while the rate of adaptation is limited by interference, the limit on the adaptation of spatially-structured populations is not much lower than that on the adaptation of well-mixed ones. Even very low rates of recombination are sufficient to allow spatially-structured populations to adapt at speeds similar to well-mixed ones, suggesting that even organisms that are primarily asexual may be able to adapt fairly rapidly.


Chairman: Octávio S. Paulo
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XIV Congress of the European Society for Evolutionary Biology

Organization Team
Department of Animal Biology (DBA)
Faculty of Sciences of the University of Lisbon
P-1749-016 Lisbon


Computational Biology & Population Genomics Group