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Optimum mutation rate and degree of dominance as determined by the principle of minimum genetic load



Optimum mutation rate and degree of dominance as determined by the principle of minimum genetic load



Jour Genet 57(1): 21-34



It is demonstrated that by introducing what may be called the principle of minimum genetic load, the spontaneous mutation rate and the average degree of dominance of deleterious mutant genes may be derived theoretically from the total genetic damage and the rate of substitution of genes in horotelic evolution. The relations connecting these quantities may be expressed by a pair of equations: [image] where [SIGMA] [mu] is the spontaneous mutation rate per gamete per generation, h is the average degree of dominance in fitness of deleterious mutant genes, D is the total mutational damage or approximately the rate of inbreeding depression in fitness per unit increase in the inbreeding coefficient and E is the rate of substitution of genes in horotelic evolution. The above formulae are sufficiently simple to be checked by observational data now available. The present result offers, as a byproduct, a new theory of dominance which can account for the partial dominance of fitness of the normal alleles of "recessive" deleterious genes. The implication of the principle of minimum genetic load for a cyclical change in environmental condition is also discussed.

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Accession: 014132716

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DOI: 10.1007/bf02985336



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