Genetic Drift - Research Article from Macmillan Science Library: Genetics

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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 individual's alleles represent a large fraction of the gene pool, and if an individual did not reproduce it could have a much larger effect than in the case of an individual in a large population not reproducing. Also, alleles that...

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This section contains 723 words
(approx. 3 pages at 300 words per page)
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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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