Scientific article

The fate of mutations surfing on the wave of a range expansion

Published inMolecular biology and evolution, vol. 23, no. 3, p. 482-490
Publication date2006

Many species, including humans, have dramatically expanded their range in the past, and such range expansions had certainly an impact on their genetic diversity. For example, mutations arising in populations at the edge of a range expansion can sometimes surf on the wave of advance and thus reach a larger spatial distribution and a much higher frequency than would be expected in stationary populations. We study here this surfing phenomenon in more detail, by performing extensive computer simulations under a two-dimensional stepping-stone model. We find that the probability of survival of a new mutation depends to a large degree on its proximity to the edge of the wave. Demographic factors such as deme size, migration rate, and local growth rate also influence the fate of these new mutations. We also find that the final spatial and frequency distributions depend on the local deme size of a subdivided population. This latter result is discussed in the light of human expansions in Europe as it should allow one to distinguish between mutations having spread with Paleolithic or Neolithic expansions. By favoring the spread of new mutations, a consequence of the surfing phenomenon is to increase the rate of evolution of spatially expanding populations.

  • Animals
  • Computer Simulation
  • Demography
  • Europe
  • Population Genetics
  • Geography
  • Humans
  • Genetic Models
  • Mutation
  • Population Density
  • Software
Citation (ISO format)
KLOPFSTEIN, Seraina, CURRAT, Mathias, EXCOFFIER, Laurent Georges Louis. The fate of mutations surfing on the wave of a range expansion. In: Molecular biology and evolution, 2006, vol. 23, n° 3, p. 482–490. doi: 10.1093/molbev/msj057
Main files (1)
Article (Accepted version)
ISSN of the journal0737-4038

Technical informations

Creation06/18/2009 2:27:00 PM
First validation06/18/2009 2:27:00 PM
Update time03/14/2023 3:09:12 PM
Status update03/14/2023 3:09:12 PM
Last indexation01/15/2024 6:36:17 PM
All rights reserved by Archive ouverte UNIGE and the University of GenevaunigeBlack