Founder Effect - Research Article from Macmillan Science Library: Genetics

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Genetic Characteristics of Founder Populations

Because the founder population is small, genetic drift can play an important role in determining the genetic makeup of subsequent generations, and allele frequencies may fluctuate. For example, consider an extreme situation where a new population is founded by just two individuals, a male and a female, perhaps because they are stranded on an island. Assume that the mother is heterozygous for a particular allele (Aa), while the father is homozygous (AA). If the couple has two children, there is a 25 percent chance that the mother will pass the A allele to both children.

The Hutterite colony, to which these children belong, is a founder population with a high prevalence of asthma. The Hutterite colony, to which these children belong, is a founder population with a high prevalence of asthma.

If neither child inherits the allele, the a allele is effectively lost from the population. Even as they grow, many founder populations remain relatively genetically isolated, with little immigration into the...

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This section contains 1,138 words
(approx. 4 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Founder Effect Encyclopedia Article
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Macmillan Science Library: Genetics
Founder Effect from Macmillan Science Library: Genetics. Copyright © 2001-2006 by Macmillan Reference USA, an imprint of the Gale Group. All rights reserved.
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