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In Stathos and Fishman (2014), the authors refer to the concept of structural underdominance. The first time they mention it is in the first paragraph of the second page (left column) and the term is followed by some kind of definition in parenthesis. It is written:

Furthermore, artifical doubling of chromosomes in sterile plant hybrids can sometimes restore normal meiosis and fertility (Stebbins 1950), a pattern diagnostic of structural underdominance (heterozygote inferiority).

In addition to how they use the term "Structural underdominance" in this paper, the above definition is confusing to me.

Is structural underdominance a specific type of underdominance (heterozygote disadvantage)? Is it the evolutionary process by which a population is lead to diminish the average underdominance along their loci? Is it a predisposition of the genetic architecture to display underdominance when a chromosomal rearrangement occurs? In short the question is:

What is the definition of "structural underdominance"?

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I understand heterozygote inferiority (also underdominance or heterozygote disadvantage) as the opposite of heterozygote advantage, that is, lower fitness of the heterozygous genotype than either homozygote (as reference, see Hedrick, 2009, p. 119). I haven't seen the term structural underdominance before. However, heterozygote disadvantage can sometimes be seen in species/subspecies hybrids and also chromosomal heterozygotes (see Hedrick, 2009, p 140), and this might be what the term structural underdominance is describing (structural as in chromosomal). This can then lead to unbalanced gametes with low viability, which means low fitness compared to homozygotes. The quote you have included also talks about plant hybrids, which makes this explanation likely, and it also makes sense since they mention artifical doubling as a solution. If I have understood the process correctly, chromosomal doubling should lead to better pairing of chromosomes and lower risk of unbalanced chromosome translocations.

Also note that Hedrick labels heterozygote disadvantage as an unstable equilibrium (p. 140ff), but I haven't looked more closely at the dynamics behind this.

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