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Evolution: The Molecular Landscape

Cold Spring Harbor’s 74th Symposium
The Molecular Landscape
Edited by Bruce Stillman,
David Stewart, and
Jan Witkowski,
Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory


Evolution Chapter 18 Discussion Questions

DQ 18.1

Explain how populations can diverge by chance, even when selection is strong and the populations are large (i.e., when Nes >> 1).

DQ 18.2

Insecticide resistance often evolves through mutations at single genes that give strong resistance. How can we tell whether resistance alleles from different places are at the same gene? If they are, how can we tell whether they originated from the same mutation? What factors make it more likely that resistance will have multiple origins?

DQ 18.3

Can adaptations evolve when selection on the alleles responsible is very weak?

DQ 18.4

How can we find whether Sewall Wright’s shifting balance theory contributes to adaptation in nature?

DQ 18.5

List alternative explanations for clines. How can these be distinguished?

DQ 18.6

When managing an endangered species, what are the arguments for and against allowing movement among local populations? What do we need to know to determine the optimum amount of movement?

DQ 18.7

Give examples that show how balancing selection can maintain polymorphism by favoring rare alleles.

DQ 18.8

Most quantitative traits, in most populations, are highly heritable; yet, we expect stabilizing selection to eliminate this variation. Is it plausible that quantitative variation is maintained by mutation, despite stabilizing selection?

DQ 18.9

How might balancing selection contribute to quantitative genetic variation?

DQ 18.10

Often, individuals that are more heterozygous at allozyme loci are also more fit. How can this correlation be explained?


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