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On 9 Jul 2002, at 10:33, Katz, Sue wrote:

> I'd like to refer folks to the Science (AAAS) Journal that just
> arrived this past week.  It is the June 28, 2002 edition.  Authors: 
> A. R. McCune et al., from Cornell, Dept. Ecology and Evolutionary
> Biology.  Title of paper:  A low genomic number of recessive lethals
> in natural populations of bluefin killifish and zebrafish This has
> direct relevance to us fishkeepers, and our concern about          
> inbreeding. 

What would the results be if annuals were studied? This fish are 
naturally given to inbreeding over many generations. It stands to 
reason that the incidence of lethal alleles would be much lower?

Yes, the results do point to the importance of proper breeding 
practice. Many of the old strains are decended from small numbers 
which were bred purposely for the aquarium trade. Reading Scheel's 
ROTOW reveals many breeding attempts that ended in failure. The AUS, 
GAR etc... we have today is as much the product of pot luck as the 
amazing breeding skills of the killikeepers of yester-year.

To give an indication of the pot-luck idea... My dageti strain has 
gone through several bottlenecks (1 male or female remainging). Along 
the way the strain has lost productivity and the eggs have become 
very sensitive (you can't touch them without them fungusing). I now 
have 1 female left that is "on her way out". Inbreeding has an 
effect, even on old aquarium strains.

It is important that at all times we select, like in nature, for 
productivity and vigor.


Tyrone Genade
tgenade at sun_ac.za

P450 Lab, Biochemistry Department
University of Stellenbosch, 7602, South Africa
Ph: +27-021-808-5876, fax: +27-021-808-5863

"Seek your happiness in the Lord."
                  Psalms 37:4
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