Butterfly releases

Kathleen Moon kmoon at ucla.edu
Wed Sep 29 03:49:49 EDT 1999

Jacob Groth wrote:

> IT IS GOOD TO MIX THE GENE POOL!  Mixing can only strengthen a
> species.  This is why breeders have to occassionally mix their gene
> pool:  to bring in more "good genes."  It is strange to hear many of
> you who understand natural selection, but somehow "forget about it"
> when it comes to transfers.

You forgot another very important problem solved by "bringing in new
blood": as is illustrated by polyphemus moths bred in captivity, some
species have resident (as in parasitic) viruses that are effectively
kept under control by gene flow (or is it the flow of "friendly cooties"
which somehow can't survive in captivity?).  Keep a polyphemus
population inbred for more than four or five generations, so I am told,
and you are asking for trouble from those "bad cooties", but bring in a
wild specimen and you have a source of healthy offspring.

Pierre A Plauzoles
sphinxangelorum at bigfoot.com

[message relayed by Kathleen Moon]

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