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    Author(s): Robin M. Bush; Peter E. Smouse; F. Thomas Ledig
    Date: 1987
    Source: Evolution 41(4):787-798
    Publication Series: Miscellaneous Publication
    PDF: Download Publication  (267 KB)


    Positive correlations between measures of "fitness" and the number of electrophoretic loci for which an individual is heterozygous have been observed in many species. Two major hypotheses have been proposed to explain this phenomenon: inbreeding depression and overdominance. Until recently, there has been no way to distinguish between these hypotheses. The overdominance model devised by Smouse (1986) is used here in a reanalysis of Ledig et al.'s (1983) study of heterozygosity and growth rate in eight populations of pitch pine and is contrasted with an inbreeding-depression analysis. Ledig et al. (1983) regressed mean growth rate per heterozygosity class on the number of heterozygous loci, a method of analysis which, although it points to general trends in the data, does not differentiate between hypotheses. The correlations they obtained in four populations were significant only because regressing on the means eliminates most of the sum of squares for error and does not weight the unequally sized heterozygosity classes. Reanalysis of Ledig et al.'s data using individuals, not means, showed no significant correlations between heterozygosity and fitness.

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    Bush, Robin M.; Smouse, Peter E.; Ledig, F. Thomas. 1987. The fitness consequences of multiple-locus heterozygosity: the relationship between heterozygosity and growth rate in pitch pine (Pinus rigida Mill.). Evolution 41(4):787-798

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