Empirical Facts

It has been known for long, and is a generally accepted fact now, that mutations with major (deleterious) fitness effects are almost always recessive. In the simplest case of two alleles, A and a, at a locus, the fitness of the three possible genotypes, AA, Aa, and aa, are usually denoted by 1,1 — hs, 1 — s. Here, s is the selection coefficient and h the dominance coefficient. A mutant is neutral if s = 0 and lethal if s = 1. If h = 0, then A is dominant and a is recessive; if h = 1, then a is dominant and A recessive; if h = V, one says there is no dominance; if 0< h <1, one speaks of intermediate dominance or codominance; if h <0, then there is overdominance, whereas underdominance prevails if h > 1.

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