We studied deterministic models of multilocus systems subject to mutation-selection balance with all loci unlinked, and with multiplicative interactions of the loci affecting fitness, in partially self-fertilizing populations. The aim was to examine the fitnesses of the zygotes produced by outcrossing and by selling, and the magnitude of inbreeding depression, in populations with different levels of inbreeding. The fates of modifiers of the outcrossing rate were also examined. With biologically plausible parameter values, inbreeding depression can be very large in moderately selfing populations, particularly when the mutant alleles are fairly recessive and selection is weak. A modifier allele reducing the selfing rate can be favored under these circumstances. In more inbred populations, inbreeding depression is lower, and selection favors alleles that increase the selfing rate. When inbreeding depression is caused by mutant alleles with strong selective disadvantage, modifiers causing large increases in selfing can often be favored even when the inbreeding depression exceeds one-half, though in these circumstances modifiers increasing selfing by smaller amounts are usually eliminated. Weaker selection appears to be more favorable to the maintenance of outcrossing.
© 1990 The Society for the Study of Evolution.