• We are sorry, but NCBI web applications do not support your browser and may not function properly. More information
Logo of procbhomepageaboutsubmitalertseditorial board
Proc Biol Sci. Apr 7, 2002; 269(1492): 711–715.
PMCID: PMC1690954

Inbreeding depression and male fitness in black grouse.


The male lifetime lekking performance was studied, and related to inbreeding-outbreeding in a wild population of black grouse (Tetrao tetrix) in central Finland between 1989 and 1995. Inbreeding was measured as the mean heterozygosity and mean d(2) of 15 microsatellite loci. We found a significantly positive relationship between mean d(2) and lifetime copulation success (LCS), while the relationship between heterozygosity and LCS was close to significant. We also found that males that never obtained a lek territory had significantly lower mean heterozygosity than males that were observed on a territory at least during one mating season in their life. Furthermore, among males that were successful in obtaining a lek territory, LCS and mean d(2) were highest for those males that held central territories. We suggest that inbred males have a disadvantage (or outbred males have an advantage) in the competition for territories that may explain the relationships with LCS and inbreeding. Furthermore, the fact that mean d(2) was positively correlated with LCS whereas heterozygosity was not when we restricted the analysis to territorial males, suggests that mean d(2) provides more information about levels of inbreeding-outbreeding than heterozygosity alone, and potentially highlights the effects of heterosis. To our knowledge, this is the first time that measures of inbreeding and lifetime fitness have been linked in a non-isolated population. This is important in establishing that the relationships found in previous studies are not artefacts of low gene flow created by limited dispersal but a general feature of wild vertebrate populations.

Full Text

The Full Text of this article is available as a PDF (172K).

Selected References

These references are in PubMed. This may not be the complete list of references from this article.
  • Amos W, Wilmer JW, Fullard K, Burg TM, Croxall JP, Bloch D, Coulson T. The influence of parental relatedness on reproductive success. Proc Biol Sci. 2001 Oct 7;268(1480):2021–2027. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Bierne N, Launey S, Naciri-Graven Y, Bonhomme F. Early effect of inbreeding as revealed by microsatellite analyses on Ostrea edulis larvae. Genetics. 1998 Apr;148(4):1893–1906. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Charlesworth B, Charlesworth D. The genetic basis of inbreeding depression. Genet Res. 1999 Dec;74(3):329–340. [PubMed]
  • Coltman DW, Bowen WD, Wright JM. Birth weight and neonatal survival of harbour seal pups are positively correlated with genetic variation measured by microsatellites. Proc Biol Sci. 1998 May 7;265(1398):803–809. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Coulson TN, Pemberton JM, Albon SD, Beaumont M, Marshall TC, Slate J, Guinness FE, Clutton-Brock TH. Microsatellites reveal heterosis in red deer. Proc Biol Sci. 1998 Mar 22;265(1395):489–495. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Crnokrak P, Roff DA. Inbreeding depression in the wild. Heredity (Edinb) 1999 Sep;83(Pt 3):260–270. [PubMed]
  • Hedrick P, Fredrickson R, Ellegren H. Evaluation of d2, a microsatellite measure of inbreeding and outbreeding, in wolves with a known pedigree. Evolution. 2001 Jun;55(6):1256–1260. [PubMed]
  • glund JH, Alatalo RV, Lundberg A, ki P T Rintam, Lindell J. Microsatellite markers reveal the potential for kin selection on black grouse leks. Proc Biol Sci. 1999 Apr 22;266(1421):813–813. [PMC free article]
  • Meagher S, Penn DJ, Potts WK. Male-male competition magnifies inbreeding depression in wild house mice. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2000 Mar 28;97(7):3324–3329. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Piertney SB, Dallas JF. Isolation and characterization of hypervariable microsatellites in the red grouse Lagopus lagopus scoticus. Mol Ecol. 1997 Jan;6(1):93–95. [PubMed]
  • Piertney SB, MacColl AD, Bacon PJ, Dallas JF. Local genetic structure in red grouse (Lagopus lagopus scoticus): evidence from microsatellite DNA markers. Mol Ecol. 1998 Dec;7(12):1645–1654. [PubMed]
  • Rossiter SJ, Jones G, Ransome RD, Barratt EM. Outbreeding increases offspring survival in wild greater horseshoe bats (Rhinolophus ferrumequinum). Proc Biol Sci. 2001 May 22;268(1471):1055–1061. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Segelbacher G, Paxton RJ, Steinbrück G, Trontelj P, Storch I. Characterization of microsatellites in capercaillie Tetrao urogallus (AVES). Mol Ecol. 2000 Nov;9(11):1934–1935. [PubMed]
  • Slate J, Kruuk LE, Marshall TC, Pemberton JM, Clutton-Brock TH. Inbreeding depression influences lifetime breeding success in a wild population of red deer (Cervus elaphus). Proc Biol Sci. 2000 Aug 22;267(1453):1657–1662. [PMC free article] [PubMed]

Articles from Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences are provided here courtesy of The Royal Society


Related citations in PubMed

See reviews...See all...

Cited by other articles in PMC

See all...


Recent Activity

Your browsing activity is empty.

Activity recording is turned off.

Turn recording back on

See more...