MASATOSHI NE1 Center f o r Demographic and Population Genetics, University of Texas at Houston, Texas 77025 Manuscript received July I O , 1979 Revised copy received November 9, 1979 ABSTRACT With the aim of understanding the mechanism of maintenance of protein polymorphism, we have studied the properties of allele frequency distribution and the number of alleles per locus, using gene-frequency data from a wide range of organisms (mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, Drosophila and non-Drosophila invertebrates) in which 20 or more loci with at least 100 genes were sampled. The observed distribution of allele frequencies was Ushaped in all of the 138 populations (mostly species or subspecies) examined and generally agreed with the theoretical distribution expected under the mutation-drift hypothesis, though there was a significant excess of rare alleles (gene frequency, 0 0.05) i n about a quarter of the populations. The agreement between the mutation-drift theory and observed data was quite satisfactory for the numbers of polymorphic (gene frequency, 0.05 0.95) and monomorphic (0.95 1.O) alleles.-The observed pattern of allele-frequency distribution was incompatible with the prediction from the overdominance hypothesis. The observed correlations of the numbers of rare alleles, polymorphic alleles and monomorphic alleles with heterozygosity were
Genetics – Genetics Society of America
Published: Apr 1, 1980
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