The effect of biased conversion on the mutation load

Genet Res. 1990 Jun;55(3):183-7. doi: 10.1017/s0016672300025519.


The mutation load is sensitive to changes in the segregation ratio caused, for example, by biased conversion. If the distortion, measured by the force of conversion, is greater than the loss of fitness in the mutation heterozygotes, then the mutation load will be far away from its normal value. Examples are given where a small positive bias together with realistic fitness parameters increase the mutation load by more than two orders of magnitude. In practical terms this implies that great restrictions should be placed on the use of substances and treatments that may induce mutations associated with a positive conversion bias.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Gene Conversion*
  • Genes, Dominant
  • Genes, Recessive
  • Mathematics
  • Models, Genetic
  • Mutation*