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Genetics. Jan 1999; 151(1): 119–129.
PMCID: PMC1460455

The rate of spontaneous mutation for life-history traits in Caenorhabditis elegans.

Abstract

Spontaneous mutations were accumulated in 100 replicate lines of Caenorhabditis elegans over a period of approximately 50 generations. Periodic assays of these lines and comparison to a frozen control suggest that the deleterious mutation rate for typical life-history characters in this species is at least 0.05 per diploid genome per generation, with the average mutational effect on the order of 14% or less in the homozygous state and the average mutational heritability approximately 0.0034. While the average mutation rate per character and the average mutational heritability for this species are somewhat lower than previous estimates for Drosophila, these differences can be reconciled to a large extent when the biological differences between these species are taken into consideration.

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