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Genetic Variation in Inbreeding Depression in the Red Flour Beetle Tribolium castaneum

Leslie A. Pray and Charles J. Goodnight
Evolution
Vol. 49, No. 1 (Feb., 1995), pp. 176-188
DOI: 10.2307/2410303
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2410303
Page Count: 13
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Genetic Variation in Inbreeding Depression in the Red Flour Beetle Tribolium castaneum
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Abstract

Inbreeding depression varies among species and among populations within a species. Few studies, however, have considered the extent to which inbreeding depression varies within a single population. We report on two experiments to provide evidence that inbreeding depression is genetically variable, such that within a single population some lineages suffer severe inbreeding depression, others suffer only mild inbreeding depression, and some lineages actually increase in phenotypic value at higher levels of inbreeding. We examine the effects of population structure on inbreeding depression for two traits in the first experiment (adult dry weight and female relative fitness), and for seven traits in the second experiment (female and male adult dry weight, female and male relative fitness, female and male developmental time, and egg-to-adult viability). In the first experiment, we collected data from 4 families within each of 38 lineages derived from a single ancestral stock population and maintained for four generations of full-sib mating. Both traits demonstrate significant inbreeding depression and provide evidence that even within a single lineage there is significant genetic variability in inbreeding depression. In the second experiment, we collected data from 5 replicates for each of 15 lineages derived from the same ancestral population used in the first experiment; these lineages were maintained for four generations of full-sib mating. We also collected data on outbred control beetles in each generation and incorporated these data into the analyses to account for environmental effects in an unbiased manner. All traits except female and male developmental time show significant inbreeding depression. All traits showing inbreeding depression are genetically variable in inbreeding depression, as is evident from a significant linear lineage-X-f component. For both experiments, the effect of population structure on inbreeding depression is further evident from the increasing amount of variation that can be explained by the models used to measure inbreeding depression when additional levels of population structure are included. Genetic variation in inbreeding depression has important implications for conservation biology and may be an important factor in mating-system evolution.

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