University of East Anglia - Inbreeding? How depressing

June 24, 2010

Inbred male sperm have been found to fertilise fewer eggs when in competition with the sperm of non-inbred males. Research into the breeding habits of the red flour beetle by biologists at the University of East Anglia showed that the reduced fitness of inbred beetles, known as "inbreeding depression", reveals itself in competitive scenarios. Inbreeding is a potentially important problem in declining species, and conserving genetic variation is now recognised as a priority by the International Union for Conservation of Nature. The UEA research is potentially vital for the successful implementation of recovery programmes for inbred species.

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