Mutation Rates and Dominance Levels of Genes Affecting Total Fitness in Two Angiosperm Species

See allHide authors and affiliations

Science  13 Jan 1995:
Vol. 267, Issue 5195, pp. 226-229
DOI: 10.1126/science.267.5195.226


Theories about the evolution of sex and the effects of inbreeding depend on knowledge of the mutation rate and dominance level of deleterious alleles affecting total fitness. In two species of largely self-fertilizing annual plants, minimal estimates of such mutation rates were found to be 0.24 to 0.87 per sporophyte genome per generation, but confidence intervals exceeded 1.0 in each of the four populations. Dominance levels were near zero in one species and intermediate (0.28 to 0.35) in the other. These results suggest that the detrimental effects of inbreeding are a result of new partially recessive mutations rather than overdominance.

Stay Connected to Science