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Genetics. Jun 1977; 86(2): 485–498.
PMCID: PMC1213688

The Influence of the Mating System on the Maintenance of Genetic Variability in Polygenic Characters

Abstract

The traditional models of the effect of assortative mating and inbreeding on the genetic variance of polygenic characters (Fisher 1918; Wright 1921) presume that there is no natural selection or mutation. In a large population, the genetic variance determined by additive genes may then increase by up to a factor of two with local inbreeding, and even more with assortative mating. The classical models are still used to interpret data from natural populations. But contrary to their assumptions, most metrical characters in natural populations are usually thought to be under a type of selection which depletes polygenic variation. Mutation is then necessary to maintain genetic variation. The present models show that with the additional features of mutation and selection, in a large population, the mating system has no influence on the amount of genetic variability maintained by additive genes.

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Selected References

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  • Kimura M. A stochastic model concerning the maintenance of genetic variability in quantitative characters. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1965 Sep;54(3):731–736. [PMC free article] [PubMed]

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