The effect of autopolyploidy on population genetic signals of hard sweeps

Patrick Monnahan, Yaniv Brandvain

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Searching for population genomic signals left behind by positive selection is a major focus of evolutionary biology, particularly as sequencing technologies develop and costs decline. The effect of the number of chromosome copies (i.e. ploidy) on the manifestation of these signals remains an outstanding question, despite a wide appreciation of ploidy being a fundamental parameter governing numerous biological processes. We clarify the principal forces governing the differential manifestation and persistence of the selection signal by separating the effects of polyploidy on the rates of fixation versus rates of diversity (i.e. mutation and recombination) using coalescent simulations. We explore the major consequences of polyploidy, finding a more localized signal, greater dependence on dominance and longer persistence of the signal following fixation, and discuss what this means for within- and across ploidy inference on the strength and prevalence of selective sweeps. As genomic advances continue to open doors for interrogating natural systems, simulations such as this aid our ability to interpret and compare data across ploidy levels.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number20190796
JournalBiology letters
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1 2020

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 The Authors.


  • Hard sweep
  • Hitchhiking
  • Linked selection
  • Polyploidy


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