balanced polymorphism

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balanced polymorphism

[′bal·ənst ¦päl·i′mȯr‚fiz·əm]
(genetics)
Maintenance in a population of two or more alleles in equilibrium at frequencies too high to be explained, particularly for the rarer of them, by mutation; commonly due to the selective advantage of a heterozygote over both homozygotes.
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However, the concept of a porous genome suggests differential rates of introgression across the genome as a result of different selective pressures; loci under balancing selection are likely to show high rates of introgression, while loci under divergent selection will resist introgression.
When we looked for genetic clues pointing to other, more ancient, examples of balancing selection, we found strong evidence for at least six such regions and weaker evidence for another 119-many more than we expected," said study author Molly Przeworski, PhD, professor of human genetics and of ecology and evolution at the University of Chicago.
Mix-match favoritism, called balancing selection, also shows up in sickle-cell anemia.

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