Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item:
Scopus Web of ScienceĀ® Altmetric
Type: Journal article
Title: Does inbreeding and loss of genetic diversity decrease disease resistance?
Author: Spielman, D.
Brook, B.
Briscoe, D.
Frankham, R.
Citation: Conservation Genetics, 2004; 5(4):439-448
Publisher: Springer-Verlag Dordrecht
Issue Date: 2004
ISSN: 1566-0621
Statement of
Derek Spielman, Barry W. Brook, David A. Briscoe and Richard Frankham
Abstract: Inbreeding and loss of genetic diversity are predicted to decrease the resistance of species to disease. However, this issue is controversial and there is limited rigorous scientific evidence available. To test whether inbreeding and loss of genetic diversity affect a host''s resistance to disease, Drosophila melanogasterpopulations with different levels of inbreeding and genetic diversity were exposed separately to (a) thuringiensin, an insecticidal toxin produced by some strains of Bacillus thuringiensis, and (b) live Serratia marcescensbacteria. Inbreeding and loss of genetic diversity significantly reduced resistance of D. melanogasterto both the thuringiensin toxin and live Serratia marcescens. For both, the best fitting relationships between resistance and inbreeding were curvilinear. As expected, there was wide variation among replicate inbred populations in disease resistance. Lowered resistances to both the toxin and the pathogen in inbred populations were due to specific resistance alleles, rather than generalized inbreeding effects, as correlations between resistance and population fitness were low or negative. Wildlife managers should strive to minimise inbreeding and loss of genetic diversity within threatened populations and to minimise exposure of inbred populations to disease.
Description: disease resistance; Drosophila melanogaster; genetic diversity; inbreeding; population size The original publication can be found at
RMID: 0020065859
DOI: 10.1023/
Appears in Collections:Earth and Environmental Sciences publications
Environment Institute Leaders publications

Files in This Item:
There are no files associated with this item.

Items in DSpace are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated.