lethal equivalent value

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The average number of recessive deleterious genes in the heterozygous condition carried by each member of a population of diploid organisms times the mean probability that each gene will cause premature death when homozygous. Thus a genetic burden of eight recessive semilethals each of which, when homozygous, produced only a 50% probability of premature death would be classified as a burden of four “lethal equivalents.”

Subjects: Genetics and Genomics.

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