How many lethal alleles?

Trends Genet. 2003 Feb;19(2):57-9. doi: 10.1016/S0168-9525(02)00045-8.


Knowledge of the frequency of lethal mutant alleles in a population is important for our understanding of population genetics and evolution, and yet there have been few attempts to measure their number in wild populations. A new study has revealed unexpectedly low numbers of segregating lethal alleles in two species of fish. More experiments are needed, however, to know whether this result is general.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Alleles*
  • Animals
  • Crosses, Genetic
  • Drosophila / genetics
  • Female
  • Fishes / genetics*
  • Genes, Lethal*
  • Genes, Recessive
  • Genetics, Population
  • Homozygote
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Models, Genetic
  • Mutation
  • Xenopus / genetics