Soft selective sweeps: Addressing new definitions, evaluating competing models, and interpreting empirical outliers

Parul Johri, Wolfgang Stephan, Jeffrey D. Jensen

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

The ability to accurately identify and quantify genetic signatures associated with soft selective sweeps based on patterns of nucleotide variation has remained controversial. We here provide counter viewpoints to recent publications in PLOS Genetics that have argued not only for the statistical identifiability of soft selective sweeps, but also for their pervasive evolutionary role in both Drosophila and HIV populations. We present evidence that these claims owe to a lack of consideration of competing evolutionary models, unjustified interpretations of empirical outliers, as well as to new definitions of the processes themselves. Our results highlight the dangers of fitting evolutionary models based on hypothesized and episodic processes without properly first considering common processes and, more generally, of the tendency in certain research areas to view pervasive positive selection as a foregone conclusion.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere1010022
JournalPLoS genetics
Volume18
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 24 2022
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics
  • Genetics(clinical)
  • Cancer Research

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