Genetic Drift - Research Article from Macmillan Science Library: Genetics

This encyclopedia article consists of approximately 3 pages of information about Genetic Drift.
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Genetic Drift

Genetic drift is the random change in the genetic composition of a population due to chance events causing unequal participation of individuals in producing succeeding generations. Along with natural selection, genetic drift is a principal force in evolution.

Allele Frequencies

Different forms of a gene are called alleles. Individual members of a population have different alleles. Together, all the alleles for all the genes in a population constitute the "gene pool" of the population. Through reproduction, individuals pass their genes on to the next generation. If considering only the effect of genetic drift, the larger the population is, the more stable the frequency of different alleles in the gene pool will be over time. In small populations allele frequencies are likely to change rapidly and dramatically over very few generations, or "drift," because of chance events. This rapid change can occur in small populations because each...

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This section contains 723 words
(approx. 3 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Genetic Drift Encyclopedia Article
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Macmillan Science Library: Genetics
Genetic Drift 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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