Logo of geneticsGeneticsCurrent IssueInformation for AuthorsEditorial BoardSubscribeSubmit a Manuscript
Genetics. 1977 Jun; 86(2): 485–498.
PMCID: PMC1213688

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


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.

Full Text

The Full Text of this article is available as a PDF (842K).

Selected References

These references are in PubMed. This may not be the complete list of references from this article.
  • 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]

Articles from Genetics are provided here courtesy of Genetics Society of America


Related citations in PubMed

See reviews...See all...

Cited by other articles in PMC

See all...


  • Cited in Books
    Cited in Books
    PubMed Central articles cited in books
  • PubMed
    PubMed citations for these articles

Recent Activity

Your browsing activity is empty.

Activity recording is turned off.

Turn recording back on

See more...