Genomics of Isle Royale wolves reveal impacts of inbreeding

A new paper explores the genetic signatures of a pair of wolves isolated on Isle Royale, a remote national park in Lake Superior. The pair are father-daughter and share the same mother. Such close inbreeding leads to genetic ...

Wild mongooses avoid inbreeding with unusual reproductive strategy

Researchers studying banded mongooses in Uganda have discovered that these small mammals are able to discriminate between relatives and non-relatives to avoid inbreeding even when mating within their own closely related social ...

Males produce faster sperm for sisters

(Phys.org) —Mating with relatives, or inbreeding, can be costly to both sexes, and in many species males and females avoid mating with siblings.  However, the latest research adds a twist to this story by showing that ...

Species conservation poised to benefit from DNA advances

A biologist at the University of York is part of an international team which has shown that advanced DNA sequencing technologies can be used to accurately measure the levels of inbreeding in wild animal populations.

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Inbreeding

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.

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