The amount of new genetic variation arising from mutation has important implications for long-term responses to artificial selection and for maintenance of variation in quantitative traits in natural populations. Restricted Maximum Likelihood with an Animal Model was used to to estimate new mutational variance, VM, for growth rate in the mouse from an experiment in which selection on 6 week weight was practised for 16 generations high and low from an inbred base stock. Assuming alleles affecting growth rate present in the base stock were neutral with respect to fitness, the maximum likelihood estimate of VM as a proportion of the environmental variance, V£, is 0.8%, and is significantly higher than zero. There is insufficient statistical power at present, however, to distinguish whether the genetic variation observed was due to mutation or was present at the start of the experiment.

P. D Keightley, William G Hill

Proceedings of the World Congress on Genetics Applied to Livestock Production, Volume XIII. Plenary lectures, molecular genetics and mapping, selection, prediction and estimation., , 325–328, 1990
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