Effect of partial selfing and polygenic selection on establishment in a new habitat.

Research paper by Himani H Sachdeva

Indexed on: 01 Jul '20Published on: 25 Jul '19Published in: Evolution


This paper analyzes how partial selfing in a large source population influences its ability to colonize a new habitat via the introduction of a few founder individuals. Founders experience inbreeding depression due to partially recessive deleterious alleles as well as maladaptation to the new environment due to selection on a large number of additive loci. I first introduce a simplified version of the Inbreeding History Model (Kelly, 2007) in order to characterize mutation-selection balance in a large, partially selfing source population under selection involving multiple non-identical loci. I then use individual-based simulations to study the eco-evolutionary dynamics of founders establishing in the new habitat under a model of hard selection. The study explores how selfing rate shapes establishment probabilities of founders via effects on both inbreeding depression and adaptability to the new environment, and also distinguishes the effects of selfing on the initial fitness of founders from its effects on the long-term adaptive response of the populations they found. A high rate of (but not complete) selfing is found to aid establishment over a wide range of parameters, even in the absence of mate limitation. The sensitivity of the results to assumptions about the nature of polygenic selection are discussed. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.