Gavrilets, S., and Hastings, A. 1993. ``Maintenance of genetic variability under strong stabilizing selection: a two locus model.'' Genetics 134: 377-386.


We study a two locus model with additive contributions to the phenotype to explore the relationship between stabilizing selection and recombination. We show that if the double heterozygote has the optimum phenotype and the contributions of the loci to the trait are different, then any symmetric stabilizing selection fitness function can maintain genetic variability provided selection is sufficiently strong relative to linkage. We present results of a detailed analysis of the quadratic fitness function which show that selection need not be extremely strong relative to recombination for the polymorphic equilibria to be stable. At these polymorphic equilibria the mean value of the trait, in general, is not equal to the optimum phenotype, there exists a large level of negative linkage disequilibrium which "hides" additive genetic variance, and different equilibria can be stable simultaneously. We analyze dependence of different characteristics of these equilibria on the location of optimum phenotype, on the difference in allelic effect, and on the strength of selection relative to recombination. Our overall result that stabilizing selection does not necessarily eliminate genetic variability is compatible with some experimental results where the lines subject to strong stabilizing selection did not have significant reductions in genetic variability.