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Trends Ecol Evol. 2010 Jan;25(1):44-52. doi: 10.1016/j.tree.2009.06.014. Epub 2009 Sep 4.

Research on inbreeding in the 'omic' era.

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Department of Genetics and Biotechnology, Aarhus University, Blichers Allé 20, DK-8830 Tjele, Denmark.


Developments in molecular and systems biology have enabled novel approaches to be used in the study of inbreeding. Mechanistic and functional studies using 'omic' technologies can increase the understanding of the consequences of inbreeding, from the level of DNA to that of population growth. This gives added power to unravelling the causes of inbreeding depression, results that we suggest will be useful in animal and plant breeding and in evolutionary and conservation biology. First results from 'omic' investigations of inbreeding indicate that inbreeding affects cellular processes that are also observed with aging and exposure to environmental stress. Here, we discuss recent achievements from applications of 'omic' techniques in research on inbreeding and propose new avenues that can be addressed by their use.

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