Evolution of the segregation ratio – Modification of gene conversion and meiotic drive

Bengtsson, BOU, M. K.,  Theoretical Population Biology,  38:192-218. 1990.

We compare the evolutionary pressures that direct the modification of gene conversion and meiotic drive at loci subject to purifying and overdominant viability selection. Gene conversion differs from meiotic drive in that modifers do not affect their own segregation ratios, even when linked to the viability locus. Segregation distortion generates gametic level disequilibria between alleles at the viability locus and modifiers of gene conversion and meiotic drive: enhancers of segregation distortion become positively associated with driven alleles. Suppression of gene conversion evolves if the driven allele is marginally disadvantageous (overdominant viability selection), and higher rates evolve if the driven alleles are relatively advantageous (purifying viability selection). Gametic disequilibria permit enhancers of meiotic drive that are linked to the driven locus to promote their own segregation. We attribute the failure of genetic modifiers of gene conversion and meiotic drive to maximinize mean fitness to the generation of such associations.