What is the distribution/probability density function (PDF) of recessivity/dominance of new mutations?

I very welcome any partial answer that does not give the whole PDF but just some information about the expected value or the variance of this distribution.

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  • $\begingroup$ Please provide a basic schematic/equation for a possible underlying model to narrow the question down. $\endgroup$ – WYSIWYG Mar 31 '14 at 12:01
  • $\begingroup$ I don't really expect insights some theoretical models but from empirical data. I would not refuse some links or answer that predict this PDF from Fisher's or Wrights models of dominance though. $\endgroup$ – Remi.b Mar 31 '14 at 13:32
  • $\begingroup$ it is not easy to ascertain if a mutation will be dominant or recessive without the knowledge about the concerned gene and its structure-function relationship. $\endgroup$ – WYSIWYG Mar 31 '14 at 15:18

I don't believe you can produce a general function for this. It will depend on the exact gene and organism you are considering.

From a molecular point of view, the vast majority of recessive mutations result from a change producing either a non-functional protein product or a truncated product that is cleaned up by the cell. We can reasonably assume that most modifications significant enough to produce a phenotype will be of this class since there are more mutational sites which can produce a non-functioning product than can produce a product of changed function but the exact ratio of one to the other is not going to be equal across different genes and organisms.

Note as well that the whole notion of recessive and dominant traits is probably an over-simplification and, in fact, there are subtle differences between homozygotes and heterozygotes in many, perhaps most, cases so I'm not sure how useful an estimate would be even if you had one.

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