5 years ago

Fixation probability of a nonmutator in a large population of asexual mutators

In an adapted population of mutators in which most mutations are deleterious, a nonmutator that lowers the mutation rate is under indirect selection and can sweep to fixation. Using a multitype branching process, we calculate the fixation probability of a rare nonmutator in a large population of asexual mutators. We show that when beneficial mutations are absent, the fixation probability is a nonmonotonic function of the mutation rate of the mutator: it first increases sublinearly and then decreases exponentially. We also find that beneficial mutations can enhance the fixation probability of a nonmutator. Our analysis is relevant to an understanding of recent experiments in which a reduction in the mutation rates has been observed.

Publisher URL: www.sciencedirect.com/science

DOI: S0022519317304010

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