Biochemical genetics of hybrid sunfish: Differential survival of heterozygotes

Thomas E. Wheat, William F. Childers, Gregory S. Whitt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Allelic segregation in reciprocal backcrosses involving the largemouth bass (Micropterus salmoides) and the F1 hybrid (largemouth bass × smallmouth bass, M. dolomieui) was investigated to determine the extent of euheterosis and luxuriance. The frequencies of allelic isozymes encoded in the lactate dehydrogenase E, malate dehydrogenase B, and isocitrate dehydrogenase loci were determined for reciprocal backcross progeny subjected to different selection pressures. The progeny of the backcross (male F1 × female largemouth bass) underwent a rapid loss of heterozygous individuals in a natural pond environment. When the offspring of this same mating were placed in artificial pools, where cannibalism is the main source of mortality, heterozygosity was advantageous. There was a marked correlation of increased heterozygosity at these enzyme loci with an increased growth rate. None of the above responses to selection was observed when the F1 hybrid served as the maternal parent in the reciprocal backcross. A maternal factor in the egg cytoplasm may influence the expression of heterosis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)205-219
Number of pages15
JournalBiochemical Genetics
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1974


  • Centrarchidae
  • heterosis
  • heterozygosity
  • hybrids
  • isozymes
  • sunfish

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics


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