Affiliations: [a] Health Service Center, Kagoshima University, 1-21-24 Korimoto, Kagoshima 890-8580, Japan | [b] Institute for Externalization of Gifts and Talents, 7421-1 Shimofukumoto, Kagoshima 891-0144, Japan | [c] Support Center for Students with Disabilities, Kagoshima University, 1-21-30 Korimoto, Kagoshima 890-0065, Japan
Corresponding author: Shinji Ijichi, Health Service Center, Kagoshima University, 1-21-24 Korimoto, Kagoshima 890-8580, Japan. Tel.: +81-99-285-7385; Fax: +81-99-285-7384; E-mail: [email protected].
Abstract: The continuing prevalence of a highly heritable and hypo-reproductive extreme tail of a human neurobehavioral quantitative diversity suggests the possibility that the reproductive majority retains the genetic mechanism for the extremes. From the perspective of stochastic epistasis, the effect of an epistatic modifier variant can randomly vary in both phenotypic value and effect direction among the carriers depending on the genetic individuality, and the modifier carriers are ubiquitous in the population distribution. The neutrality of the mean genetic effect in the carriers warrants the survival of the variant under selection pressures. Functionally or metabolically related modifier variants make an epistatic network module and dozens of modules may be involved in the phenotype. To assess the significance of stochastic epistasis, a simplified module-based model was employed. The individual repertoire of the modifier variants in a module also participates in the genetic individuality which determines the genetic contribution of each modifier in the carrier. Because the entire contribution of a module to the phenotypic outcome is consequently unpredictable in the model, the module effect represents the total contribution of the related modifiers as a stochastic unit in the simulations. As a result, the intrinsic compatibility between distributional robustness and quantitative changeability could mathematically be simulated using the model. The artificial normal distribution shape in large-sized simulations was preserved in each generation even if the lowest fitness tail was un-reproductive. The robustness of normality beyond generations is analogous to the real situations of human complex diversity including neurodevelopmental conditions. The repeated regeneration of the un-reproductive extreme tail may be inevitable for the reproductive majority’s competence to survive and change, suggesting implications of the extremes for others. Further model-simulations to illustrate how the fitness of extreme individuals can be low through generations may be warranted to increase the credibility of this stochastic epistasis model.