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Predictions of response to artificial selection from new mutations

  • William G. Hill (a1)

Summary

The pattern of response expected from fixation of mutant genes for quantitative traits in finite populations is investigated for a range of distributions of mutant gene effects. The eventual rate depends on the total variance of mutant effects per generation, but the initial rate and the variance of response is higher if the distribution of mutant effects has a large standard deviation or is leptokurtic. The difference between initial and eventual rates of response is greater with large population sizes.

For a range of assumptions, new mutants are unlikely to have much influence on response for 20 or so generations, but then may contribute substantially, such that no plateaux are obtained. However, information on the variance contributed by mutants is almost entirely on bristle number in Drosophila.

It is argued that the role of new mutants should be considered in designing breeding programmes, in particular in utilizing large populations.

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References

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Genetics Research
  • ISSN: 0016-6723
  • EISSN: 1469-5073
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