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Genetics. 1995 Nov;141(3):1209-23.

Individual variation in inbreeding depression: the roles of inbreeding history and mutation.

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  • 1Department of Biology, University of Oregon, Eugene 97403, USA.


We use mutation-selection recursion models to evaluate the relative contributions of mutation and inbreeding history to variation among individuals in inbreeding depression and the ability of experiments to detect associations between individual inbreeding depression and mating system genotypes within populations. Poisson mutation to deleterious additive or recessive alleles generally produces far more variation among individuals in inbreeding depression than variation in history of inbreeding, regardless of selfing rate. Moreover, variation in inbreeding depression can be higher in a completely outcrossing or selfing population than in a mixed-mating population. In an initially random mating population, the spread of a dominant selfing modifier with no pleiotropic effects on male outcross success causes a measurable increase in inbreeding depression variation if its selfing rate is large and inbreeding depression is caused by recessive lethals. This increase is observable during a short period as the modifier spreads rapidly to fixation. If the modifier alters selfing rate only slightly, it fails to spread or causes no measurable increase in inbreeding depression variance. These results suggest that genetic associations between mating loci and inbreeding depression loci could be difficult to demonstrate within populations and observable only transiently during rapid evolution to a substantially new selfing rate.

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