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Does Inbreeding and Loss of Genetic Diversity Decrease Disease Resistance?

Does Inbreeding and Loss of Genetic Diversity Decrease Disease Resistance? Inbreeding and loss of genetic diversity are predicted to decrease the resistance of species to disease. However, this issue is controversial and there is limited rigorous scientific evidence available. To test whether inbreeding and loss of genetic diversity affect a host's resistance to disease, Drosophila melanogasterpopulations with different levels of inbreeding and genetic diversity were exposed separately to (a) thuringiensin, an insecticidal toxin produced by some strains of Bacillus thuringiensis, and (b) live Serratia marcescensbacteria. Inbreeding and loss of genetic diversity significantly reduced resistance of D. melanogasterto both the thuringiensin toxin and live Serratia marcescens. For both, the best fitting relationships between resistance and inbreeding were curvilinear. As expected, there was wide variation among replicate inbred populations in disease resistance. Lowered resistances to both the toxin and the pathogen in inbred populations were due to specific resistance alleles, rather than generalized inbreeding effects, as correlations between resistance and population fitness were low or negative. Wildlife managers should strive to minimise inbreeding and loss of genetic diversity within threatened populations and to minimise exposure of inbred populations to disease. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Conservation Genetics Springer Journals

Does Inbreeding and Loss of Genetic Diversity Decrease Disease Resistance?

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References (87)

Publisher
Springer Journals
Copyright
Copyright © 2004 by Kluwer Academic Publishers
Subject
Biomedicine; Human Genetics; Evolutionary Biology; Plant Sciences; Animal Anatomy / Morphology / Histology
ISSN
1566-0621
eISSN
1572-9737
DOI
10.1023/B:COGE.0000041030.76598.cd
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Inbreeding and loss of genetic diversity are predicted to decrease the resistance of species to disease. However, this issue is controversial and there is limited rigorous scientific evidence available. To test whether inbreeding and loss of genetic diversity affect a host's resistance to disease, Drosophila melanogasterpopulations with different levels of inbreeding and genetic diversity were exposed separately to (a) thuringiensin, an insecticidal toxin produced by some strains of Bacillus thuringiensis, and (b) live Serratia marcescensbacteria. Inbreeding and loss of genetic diversity significantly reduced resistance of D. melanogasterto both the thuringiensin toxin and live Serratia marcescens. For both, the best fitting relationships between resistance and inbreeding were curvilinear. As expected, there was wide variation among replicate inbred populations in disease resistance. Lowered resistances to both the toxin and the pathogen in inbred populations were due to specific resistance alleles, rather than generalized inbreeding effects, as correlations between resistance and population fitness were low or negative. Wildlife managers should strive to minimise inbreeding and loss of genetic diversity within threatened populations and to minimise exposure of inbred populations to disease.

Journal

Conservation GeneticsSpringer Journals

Published: Dec 26, 2004

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