Genetical Research

The mutation load under tetrasomic inheritance and its consequences for the evolution of the selfing rate in autotetraploid species

a1 Laboratoire de Génétique et d'Amélioration des Plantes, Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique, Domaine de Melgueil, 34130 Mauguio, France


Single-locus equilibrium frequencies of a partially recessive deleterious mutation under the mutation–selection balance model are derived for partially selfing autotetraploid populations. Assuming multiplicative fitness interactions among loci, approximate solutions for the mean fitness and inbreeding depression values are also derived for the multiple locus case and compared with expectations for the diploid model. As in diploids, purging of deleterious mutations through consanguineous matings occurs in autotetraploid populations, i.e. the equilibrium mutation load is a decreasing function of the selfing rate. However, the variation of inbreeding depression with the selfing rate depends strongly on the dominance coefficients associated with the three heterozygous genotypes. Inbreeding depression can either increase or decrease with the selfing rate, and does not always vary monotonically. Expected issues for the evolution of the selfing rate consequently differ depending on the dominance coefficients. In some cases, expectations for the evolution of the selfing rate resemble expectations in diploids; but particular sets of dominance coefficients can be found that lead to either complete selfing or intermediate selfing rates as unique evolutionary stable state.

(Received July 8 1998)
(Revised November 5 1998)
(Revised January 15 1999)

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