Assortative mating, or the mating of selected males and females according to rank, have long been practised in animal breeding. Theoretically this should lead to an increased response for the following reasons: Like inbreeding, assortative mating causes an increase in homozygosity and total population variance (Wricth, 1921, and Fischer, 1918). Both these factors should speed up the response since the homozygosity due to assortative mating affects only the loci concerned with the trait under selection (in contrast to homozygosity due to inbreeding) whilst the increase in variance should lead to a greater selection differential. However, Crow and Felsenstein (1968) points out that in the case of a multifactorial trait the increase in homozygosity is so slight as to be neglible. The increase in variance on the other hand is quite large.

A. O de Lange

Proceedings of the World Congress on Genetics Applied to Livestock Production, Volume 3, Madrid, Spain, 421–425, 1974
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