Epistasis for founder-specific inbreeding depression in rabbits

Joaquim Casellas, Dolors Vidal-Roqueta, Eva Flores, Dolors Casellas-Vidal, Marçal Llach-Vila, Roser Salgas-Fina, Pere Casellas-Molas

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10 Citations (Scopus)


Inbreeding depression is a topic of main interest in experimental and domestic species, although previous studies simplified this genetically complex effect to the linear (or quadratic) regression coefficient linked to the inbreeding coefficient of each individual or, in more recent studies, to founder-specific inbreeding coefficients. Going beyond generalizing to these traditional scenarios, our research focused on the analysis of gene-by-gene interactions leading to epistasis for inbreeding depression effects. Under a Bayesian context, inbreeding depression effects were evaluated for weaning weight (WW) in a commercial rabbit population founded from 4 bucks and 1 doe (MARET population). Founder-specific inbreeding depression effects for the 4 bucks ranged between -81.1 and 38.3 g for each 1% inbreeding. More interestingly, 2 epistatic interactions between the partial inbreeding coefficient of 2 bucks were also significant and negative, showing a -1.9 and -1.0 g reduction on WW. These results provide the first evidence of epistatic inbreeding depression phenomena in domestic species, emphasizing the complexity of the genetic architecture in mammals. © 2011 The American Genetic Association. 2010. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)157-164
JournalJournal of Heredity
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2011


  • epistasis
  • inbreeding
  • MARET rabbit
  • weaning weight


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