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Research article2000Peer reviewedOpen access

Heterosis increases the effective migration rate

Ingvarsson, PK; Whitlock, MC


Individuals coming from the same subpopulation are more likely to share deleterious mutations at any given locus than hybrids formed between parents from different populations. Offspring of migrants therefore may experience heterosis and have higher fitness than resident individuals. This will, in turn, result in the immigrant alleles being present in higher frequencies than predicted from neutral expectations and thus a higher effective migration rate. In this paper we derive a formula to calculate the effective migration rate in the presence of heterosis. It is shown that the effect of heterosis on the migration rate can be substantial when fitness reduction within local populations is severe. The effect will be more pronounced in species with relatively short map lengths. Furthermore the heterosis effect will be highly variable throughout the genome, with the largest effect seen near selected genes and in regions of high gene density.


drift load; gene flow; heterosis; migration; population structure; recombination

Published in

Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences
2000, Volume: 267, number: 1450, pages: 1321-1326
Publisher: ROYAL SOC

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