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The extent to which quantitative trait variability is caused by rare alleles maintained by mutation, versus intermediate-frequency alleles maintained by balancing selection, is an unsolved problem of evolutionary genetics. We describe the results of an experiment to examine the effects of selection on the mean and extent of inbreeding depression for early female fecundity in Drosophila melanogaster. Theory predicts that rare, partially recessive deleterious alleles should cause a much larger change in the effect of inbreeding than in the mean of the outbred population, with the change in inbreeding effect having an opposite sign to the change in mean. The present experiment falls to support this prediction, suggesting that intermediate-frequency alleles contribute substantially to genetic variation in early fecundity.
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- 1 Finished
Charlesworth, B. & Miyo, T.
1/04/03 → 31/03/06