- a combination of selective effects that on average have the same impact on the composition of the gene pool as one death; two carriers at 50% risk of dying would be the lethal equivalent of one carrier at 100% risk;
- in the population genetics of recessive traits, lethal equivalent is expressed as twice the sum of the expected number of deaths ascribable to the genetic load.
- expression used of the genetic load of recessive genes in heterozygous state that if in homozygous state would cause death or carry a risk of death. The expected number of deaths from all such genes is expressed in lethal equivalent.
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