Inbreeding Depression

H1: Inbreeding Depression

Usually, when there is no genetic diversity in a given population of animals, certain problems will start to arise. We shall explore these problems and their implications.

What is Inbreeding Depression?

Inbreeding depression is defined as the reduction in biological fitness of a given population as a result of inbreeding. In this context, biological fitness is related to an organisms’ ability to survive and transfer its genetic material.

Why Does Inbreeding Depression Occur?

Natural selection has the tendency to weed deleterious alleles from a population. The dominant deleterious alleles, when expressed, lowers the fitness of the carrier and a few copies end up in the next generation.

How is Inbreeding Depression an Issue?

Generally, if the population of organisms is large enough, this is not an issue. This is because the recessive deleterious allele that may be carried by the population is rarely expressed. On the other hand, smaller populations are drastically affected as close relatives end up mating with one another. In such cases, offspring of these close relatives inherit two copies of the same recessive deleterious allele and end up suffering its consequences.

Main Article: Inbreeding Depression – Effects on Animals, Plants & Humans

Frequently Asked Questions on Inbreeding Depression

What is Inbreeding Depression?

Inbreeding depression is defined as the reduction in biological fitness of a given population as a result of inbreeding. In this context, biological fitness is related to an organisms’ ability to survive and transfer its genetic material.

What is the Reason for Inbreeding Depression to Occur?

Natural selection has the tendency to weed deleterious alleles from a population. The dominant deleterious alleles, when expressed, lowers the fitness of the carrier and a few copies end up in the next generation.

Is Inbreeding Depression an Issue for large populations?

Generally, if the population of organisms is large enough, this is not an issue. This is because the recessive deleterious allele that may be carried by the population is rarely expressed.

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