News tagged with inbreeding
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Inbreeding is breeding between close relatives, whether plant or animal. If practiced repeatedly, it can lead to exposure of recessive, deleterious traits. This generally leads to a decreased fitness of a population, which is called inbreeding depression. Deleterious alleles causing inbreeding depression can subsequently be removed through culling. This is known as genetic purging.
Livestock breeders often practice inbreeding to "fix" desirable characteristics within a population. However, they must then cull unfit offspring, especially when trying to establish the new and desirable trait in their stock.
In plant breeding, inbred lines are used as stocks for the creation of hybrid lines to make use of the heterosis effect. Inbreeding in plants also occurs naturally in the form of self-pollination.