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BMC Evolutionary Biology

, 9:289

First Online: 10 December 2009Received: 03 April 2009Accepted: 10 December 2009

Abstract

BackgroundInbreeding can slow population growth and elevate extinction risk. A small number of unrelated immigrants to an inbred population can substantially reduce inbreeding and improve fitness, but little attention has been paid to the sex-specific effects of immigrants on such -genetic rescue-. We conducted two subsequent experiments to investigate demographic consequences of inbreeding and genetic rescue in guppies.

ResultsPopulations established from pairs of full siblings that were descended either from two generations of full-sibling inbreeding or unrelated outbred guppies did not grow at different rates initially, but when the first generation offspring started breeding, outbred-founded populations grew more slowly than inbred-founded populations. In a second experiment, adding two outbred males to the inbred populations resulted in significantly faster population growth than in control populations where no immigrants were added. Adding females resulted in growth at a rate intermediate to the control and male-immigrant treatments.

ConclusionThe slower growth of the outbred-founded than inbred-founded populations is the opposite of what would be expected under inbreeding depression unless many deleterious recessive alleles had already been selectively purged in the inbreeding that preceded the start of the experiment, and that significant inbreeding depression occurred when the first generation offspring in outbred-founded populations started to inbreed. The second experiment revealed strong inbreeding depression in the inbred founded populations, despite the apparent lack thereof in these populations earlier on. Moreover, the fact that the addition of male immigrants resulted in the highest levels of population growth suggests that sex-specific genetic rescue may occur in promiscuous species, with male rescue resulting in higher levels of outbreeding than female rescue.

Electronic supplementary materialThe online version of this article doi:10.1186-1471-2148-9-289 contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.

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Autor: Susanne RK Zajitschek - Felix Zajitschek - Robert C Brooks

Fuente: https://link.springer.com/article/10.1186/1471-2148-9-289







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