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Quantitative Genetics in Plants: The Effect of the Breeding System on Genetic Variability

D. Charlesworth and B. Charlesworth
Evolution
Vol. 49, No. 5 (Oct., 1995), pp. 911-920
DOI: 10.2307/2410413
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2410413
Page Count: 10
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Quantitative Genetics in Plants: The Effect of the Breeding System on Genetic Variability
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Abstract

The expected effects of breeding system on quantitative genetic variation under various models for the maintenance of such variation are examined, with particular emphasis on the contrast between randomly mating and highly self-fertilizing populations. Estimates of quantitative genetic parameters from plant populations are reviewed. There is some evidence for reduced within-population genetic variance in highly inbreeding populations, compared with outbreeders, but more empirical work appears necessary. Although the estimate of the magnitude of the effect of breeding system is subject to considerable error, the reduction in genetic variance in inbreeding populations appears greater than expected if the variation were maintained by overdominance, or if it were due to neutral mutations. It is more consistent with models involving mutation-selection balance, although a rather larger reduction in genetic variance is estimated than is expected theoretically. We discuss some possible reasons for the lower level of genetic variance in selfers than is predicted by such models.

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