Our understanding of balancing selection is currently becoming greatly clarified by new sequence data being gathered from genes in which polymorphisms are known to be maintained by selection. The data can be interpreted in conjunction with results from population genetics models that include recombination between selected sites and nearby neutral marker variants. This understanding is making possible tests for balancing selection using molecular evolutionary approaches. Such tests do not necessarily require knowledge of the functional types of the different alleles at a locus, but such information, as well as information about the geographic distribution of alleles and markers near the genes, can potentially help towards understanding what form of balancing selection is acting, and how long alleles have been maintained.
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