Genetical Research

Research Article

The founder effect and response to artificial selection

J. W. Jamesa1

a1 School of Wool and Pastoral Sciences, The University of New South Wales, Kensington, Australia


The response to selection in any line depends on the size of the initial sample by which the line is founded. For a single locus with additive gene action the effects of number of founders on early rate of response and on final limits are studied in relation to selection intensity and number of parents in the selected line. The reduction in total response caused by a small number of founders is greatest for large populations under intense selection, especially when the desirable alleles are rare in the base population. If these alleles are at high frequencies it is possible that a line which has gone through a bottleneck may be more sensitive to a reduced population size during subsequent selection than a line which has not. Under some conditions replicate selection lines founded with small samples are likely to be less variable in response than lines founded with moderately large samples.

(Received August 25 1969)