Tag Archives: inbreeding

Wild mongooses avoid inbreeding with unusual reproductive strategy

Researchers studying banded mongooses in Uganda have discovered that these small mammals are able to discriminate between relatives and non-relatives to avoid inbreeding even when mating within their own social group. (more…)

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Turtles’ Mating Habits Protect Against Effects of Climate Change

The mating habits of marine turtle may help protect them against the effects of climate change, according to new research led by the University.

Published on 25th January 2012 in Proceedings of the Royal Society B, the study shows how mating patterns of a population of endangered green turtles may be helping them deal with the fact that global warming is leading to a disproportionate number of females being born.

The gender of baby turtles is determined by the temperature of the eggs during incubation, with warmer temperatures leading to more females being born. Higher average global temperatures mean that offspring from some populations are predominantly female. This is threatening the future of some populations and there are concerns that inbreeding within groups due to a lack of males will lead to health problems. (more…)

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The Genetics of Self-Incompatibility

*Petunias show that the mechanisms behind inbreeding prevention are similar to immune response*

About the image: The female part of the petunia flower secretes an enzyme that is designed to deter pollen tube growth, thereby preventing fertilization. However, in the cases that the pollen has come from a genetically different plant, the pollen produces its own protein that combats the pistil’s enzyme. With the enzyme out of the way, the pollen tube can keep growing and fertilization can occur. Image credit: Zina Deretsky, National Science Foundation

Inbreeding is a bad strategy for any organism, producing weak and problematic offspring. So imagine the challenge of inbreeding prevention in a plant where male and female sexual organs grow right next to each other! Such is the genetic conundrum faced by the petunia. (more…)

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