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dc.contributor.advisorAzevedo, Ricardo B. R.
dc.creatorKalirad, Ata 1989-
dc.date.accessioned2017-04-17T01:41:41Z
dc.date.available2017-04-17T01:41:41Z
dc.date.createdDecember 2016
dc.date.issued2016-12
dc.date.submittedDecember 2016
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10657/1721
dc.description.abstractGenetic incompatibilities can emerge as a by-product of genetic divergence. According to Dobzhansky and Muller, alleles at different loci that have fixed in different genetic backgrounds may be incompatible when brought together in a hybrid. Orr showed that the number of Dobzhansky--Muller incompatibilities (DMIs) should accumulate faster than linearly---i.e., snowball---as two lineages diverge. Several studies have attempted to test the snowball model using data from natural populations. One limitation of these studies is that they have focused on predictions of the snowball model but not on its underlying assumptions. Here I use a computational model of RNA folding to test both predictions and assumptions of the snowball model. In this model, two populations are allowed to evolve in allopatry on a holey fitness landscape. I find that the number of DMIs involving pairs of loci (i.e., simple DMIs) does not snowball---rather, it increases approximately linearly with divergence. I show that the probability of emergence of a simple DMI is approximately constant, as assumed by the snowball model. However, simple DMIs can disappear after they have arisen, contrary to the assumptions of the snowball model. This occurs because simple DMIs become complex (i.e., involve alleles at three or more loci) as a result of later substitutions. I introduce a modified snowball model---the melting snowball model---where simple DMIs can become complex after they appear. The melting snowball model can account for the results of the RNA-folding model. I also find that complex DMIs are common and, unlike simple ones, do snowball. Reproductive isolation, however, does not snowball because DMIs do not act independently of each other. I also test the snowball model at the population level using an individual-based model. Using this model, I show that recombination rate, gene flow, and ancestral polymorphism can slow down the snowballing of incompatibilities between diverging populations. These factors result in selection for mutationally robust genotypes, and genotypes that are more resistant to mutations are also more resistant to introgressions, which reduces the number of DMIs.
dc.format.mimetypeapplication/pdf
dc.language.isoeng
dc.rightsThe author of this work is the copyright owner. UH Libraries and the Texas Digital Library have their permission to store and provide access to this work. Further transmission, reproduction, or presentation of this work is prohibited except with permission of the author(s).
dc.subjectHybrid incompatibility
dc.subjectMissing snowball
dc.subjectIntrinsic postzygotic isolation
dc.subjectHigh-order epistasis
dc.titleA test of the Snowball model
dc.date.updated2017-04-17T01:41:41Z
dc.type.genreThesis
thesis.degree.nameDoctor of Philosophy
thesis.degree.levelDoctoral
thesis.degree.disciplineBiology
thesis.degree.grantorUniversity of Houston
thesis.degree.departmentBiology and Biochemistry, Department of
dc.contributor.committeeMemberBassler, Kevin E.
dc.contributor.committeeMemberCooper, Timothy F.
dc.contributor.committeeMemberOstrowski, Elizabeth
dc.contributor.committeeMemberZufall, Rebecca A.
dc.creator.orcid0000-0002-9500-3903
dc.type.dcmiText
dc.format.digitalOriginborn digital
dc.description.departmentBiology and Biochemistry, Department of
thesis.degree.collegeCollege of Natural Sciences and Mathematics


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