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Quantitative Genetics in the Wild$
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Anne Charmantier, Dany Garant, and Loeske E. B. Kruuk

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780199674237

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: August 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199674237.001.0001

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Dominance genetic variance and inbreeding in natural populations

Dominance genetic variance and inbreeding in natural populations

(p.104) Chapter 7 Dominance genetic variance and inbreeding in natural populations
Quantitative Genetics in the Wild

Matthew E. Wolak

Lukas F. Keller

Oxford University Press

It is assumed that dominance genetic variance contributes little to the prediction of evolutionary change in polygenic traits. This is based on the assumption that populations are large, panmictic, and randomly mating. However, the ecological contexts of most wild populations studied to date violate one, if not several, of these assumptions, and the widespread occurrence of inbreeding and inbreeding depression of phenotypic traits and fitness suggests dominance genetic effects are ubiquitous. This chapter reviews what genetic dominance represents at the level of a single locus and how this contributes to phenotypic variation and discusses how to estimate dominance variance with emphasis on the complications arising in wild populations and with inbreeding. Next, empirical estimates of dominance variance are reviewed. Since no estimates exist of dominance variance in the wild (except for humans), laboratory and agricultural populations are examined, and it is shown that dominance variance is a major contributor to phenotypic variation and in some cases contributes as much as additive genetic variance. This chapter also discusses how inbreeding and dominance affect predictions of evolutionary change, and ends with a review of some of the empirical questions for which genetic dominance is an important quantity in its own right. In this chapter, it is argued that dominance variance has been ignored for too long, may hamper the ability to predict evolutionary change, can be a major contributor to phenotypic variance, is interesting to study in its own right, and provides many avenues of research to be addressed by empirical study.

Keywords:   inbreeding, inbreeding depression, genetic dominance, dominance variance, phenotypic variance

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