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ENETIC literature includes much discussion of lethal factors. Texts treat the subjects of sex-linked and autosomal lethals, lethals linked with visibles, balanced lethals and semilethals. There are many studies of induction of lethals by X-radiation and other physical agents including correlation of number of lethals with dosage given. Almost without exception the lethals referred to are recessive, transmissible from one generation to another through the heterozygote. Dominant lethals, not transmissible since zygotes receiving them die, and evident only in their mass effect, have been discussed but little. In organisms with the ordinary type of reproduction dominant lethals would be difficult to distinguish from direct inactivation of germ cells although MULLER(1927) attributed the partial sterility of X-rayed males in Drosophila to dominant lethals, pointing out that although they could not be detected individually “their number was so great that through egg counts and effects on sex ratio evidence could be obtained of them en masse. It was found that their numbers are of the same order of magnitude as those of recessive lethals.” In the parasitic wasp Habrobracon, in contrast to such organisms as Drosophila, the occurrence of dominant lethals in the sperm can be readily distinguished from direct http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Genetics Genetics Society of America

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