How Much Does Inbreeding Reduce Heterozygosity? Empirical Results from Aedes aegypti

Jeffrey R. Powell Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut.

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Benjamin R. Evans Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut.

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Deriving strains of mosquitoes with reduced genetic variation is useful, if not necessary, for many genetic studies. Inbreeding is the standard way of achieving this. Full-sib inbreeding the mosquito Aedes aegypti for seven generations reduced heterozygosity to 72% of the initial heterozygosity in contrast to the expected 13%. This deviation from expectations is likely due to high frequencies of deleterious recessive alleles that, given the number of markers studied (27,674 single nucleotide polymorphisms [SNPs]), must be quite densely spread in the genome.

Author Notes

* Address correspondence to Jeffrey R. Powell, Yale University, 21 Sachem Street, New Haven, CT 06520-8105. E-mail: jeffrey.powell@yale.edu

Financial support: This study was supported by NIH NIAID RO1 AI101112 and NIH 5T32 AI007404.

Authors' addresses: Jeffrey R. Powell, Yale University, New Haven, CT, E-mail: jeffrey.powell@yale.edu. Benjamin R. Evans, Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Yale University, New Haven, CT, E-mail: b.evans@yale.edu.

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