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[Plant-education] Inbreeding versus Cloning

John E. Silvius silviusj at cedarville.edu
Fri Aug 4 11:49:31 EST 2006

Prof. Jensen,
Some time ago you made the following contribution to the
plant-ed at net.bio.net discussion of "principles of plant biology" in the
context of plant reproduction:

Heterozygosity decreases by 50% with each self pollination.  If we buy
the evolutionary argument that heterozygosity is generally good within a
population, then when outcrossing is not possible, it is probably better
to clone oneself than it is to self-pollinate.  Talk about the "incest
taboo"...  If anyone knows of empirical studies that have tested this, I
would like to hear about them.

Have you received any additional feedback (or does anyone have anything
to add) regarding empirical studies of inbreeding compared to cloning as
it affects local plant populations?


John E. Silvius, Ph.D.
Senior Professor of Biology
251 N. Main St.
Cedarville University
Cedarville, Ohio   45314
E-mail:   silviusj at cedarville.edu 

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