Meiotic drive as an evolutionary force

Sandler, L. and Novitski, E.,  American Naturalist,  91:105-110. 1957.

A heterozygote for alleles A and A’ ordinarilly produces gametes carrying each of the alleles with a frequency of 50 per cent. The constancy of allele frequencies from one generation to the nest in natural populations of diploid species depends on this equality, which itself depends on the nature of the meiotic divisions. As the study of the genetics of higher organisms becomes more precise and extensive, an increasing number of cases is found in which heterozygotes of certain constitutions fail to produce the two kinds of gametes with equal frequency. Such a pattern of behavior will drastically alter frequencies of alleles in a population; where such a fouce, potentially capable of altering gene frequencies, is a consequence of the mechanics of the meiotic divisions, we suggest that the name meiotic drive be applied. The distinction between meiotic drive and the superficially similar phenomenon of gametic selection and gametic competition may be operationally difficult in those instances in which a detailed cytogenetic study cannot be made. The later, however, represent selecdtion in the ordinary sense, operating in the haploid phase, and as such their effectiveness is directly dependent on the gene content (fitness) of the gametes, whereas the effectiveness of the former is independent of the gene content in the ordinary sense.