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Telomere length reveals cumulative individual and transgenerational inbreeding effects in a passerine bird [Molecular Ecology]

Keywords : heterozygote advantage, inbreeding, lifetime fitness, Seychelles warbler, telomere, trans-generational effects

par Frédéric Magné - publié le

Inbreeding results in more homozygous offspring that should suffer reduced fitness, but it can be difficult to quantify these costs for several reasons. First, inbreeding depression may vary with ecological or physiological stress and only be detectable over long time periods. Second, parental homozygosity may indirectly affect offspring fitness, thus confounding analyses that consider offspring homozygosity alone. Finally, measurement of inbreeding coefficients, survival and reproductive success may often be too crude to detect inbreeding costs in wild populations. Telomere length provides a more precise measure of somatic costs, predicts survival in many species and should reflect differences in somatic condition that result from varying ability to cope with environmental stressors.(...)

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