Hardy-Weinberg Equilibrium - Research Article from Macmillan Science Library: Genetics

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Basic Concepts

A population is a set of interbreeding individuals all belonging to the same species. In most sexually reproducing species, including humans, each organism contains two copies of virtually every gene—one inherited from each parent. Any particular gene may occur in slightly different forms, called alleles. An organism with two identical alleles is called homozygous for that gene, and one with two different alleles is called heterozygous. During the formation of gametes, the two alleles separate into different gametes. Mating unites egg and sperm, so that the offspring obtains two alleles for each gene.

The two alleles for a gene typically have different effects on the phenotype, or characteristics, of the organism. For many genes, one allele will control the phenotype if it is present in either one or two copies; this allele, which is often represented by a single, uppercase letter—B, for...

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This section contains 1,460 words
(approx. 5 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Hardy-Weinberg Equilibrium Encyclopedia Article
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Macmillan Science Library: Genetics
Hardy-Weinberg Equilibrium 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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