genetic loadmedical dictionary

<genetics> In general terms the decrease in fitness of a population (as a result of selection acting on phenotypes) due to deleterious mutations in the population gene pool. More specifically, the average number of recessive lethal mutations, in the heterozygous state, estimated to be present in the genome of an individual in a population.

This entry appears with permission from the Dictionary of Cell and Molecular Biology

(11 Mar 2008)