What is the evidence for heterozygote advantage selection?

Philip W. Hedrick

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

130 Scopus citations


Recent genomic data have found that many genes show the signal of selection. How many of these genes are undergoing heterozygote advantage selection is only beginning to be known. Initial genomic surveys have suggested that only a small proportion of loci have polymorphisms maintained by heterozygote advantage and this is consistent with the few examples generated from other approaches within given species. Unless further studies provide large numbers of loci with heterozygote advantage, it appears that loci with heterozygote advantage must be considered only a small minority of all loci in a species. This is not to say that some heterozygote advantage loci do not have important adaptive functions, but that their role in overall evolutionary change might be more of an unusual phenomenon than a major player in adaptation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)698-704
Number of pages7
JournalTrends in Ecology and Evolution
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2012

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics


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