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Evolution and Population Genetics Review

Haploid, Diploid Diploid cells (2N) have two complete sets of chromosomes. The body cells of animals are diploid. Haploid cells have one complete set of chromosomes. Some organisms are haploid. Animals are diploid but their gametes (sperm and eggs) are haploid. Mitosis Mitosis is a type of cell division that results in daughter cells that are identical (genetically) to the parent cell. If the parent cell is diploid, the two daughter cells will be diploid. Similarly, a haploid cell that divides by mitosis will produce two haploid daughter cells. The diagram shows how chromosome movement results in two daughter cells with chromosomes that are identical to the parent cell.

Below: The single-stranded chromosomes in the two daughter cells will later become double-stranded. The two resulting strands (chromatids) are identical.

Meiosis has two separate divisions resulting in four daughter cells.Meiosis Meiosis is a type of cell division in which the daughter cells have 1/2 the number of chromosomes as the parent cell. the daughter cells will each be haploid. The first division is shown below. If the parent cell is diploid. .

. Notice that the second meiotic division is like mitosis.Each of the two cells produced by the first division (shown above) divides again (shown below).

perhaps the concept of species is artificial but it is useful because it allows people to classify organisms. . Most biologists would agree that members of a sexually-reproducing species are able to interbreed and have a shared gene pool. they do not interbreed.Evolution and Population Genetics Evolution Occurs in Populations Species There is not a good definition of species. Different species do not exchange genes with each other.

Population Model A population is a group of interbreeding organisms that occupies a particular area.4. Population A population is often described as an interbreeding group of organisms (the same species) that occupies a particular area. then the gene frequency of "a" is 0.6 and the gene frequency of "A" is 0.This definition of species is based on sexual reproduction and therefore does not work with prokaryotes or other asexual species. On a small scale. For example. Gene Frequency and Evolution Gene frequency refers to the proportion of alleles that are of a particular type. Individuals are diploid. Initial Population Circles are used to represent genes in this diagram of a population. The size of the area is somewhat arbitrary. Gene Frequencies in the Model Population . so two circles are used to represent an individual. There could be a population of fish in an aquarium and a population of fish in a lake. if 60% of the alleles in a population are "a" and 40% are "A". evolution involves changes in gene frequencies.

The frequency of "A" is therefore 0. 1/2 a all a The proportion of A and a in the gametes will be the same as in the population. This is not a concern for our model because in either case. Gametes During meiosis. the gene frequency of the gametes will be the same as that of the population that produced them. The gene frequency of "A" and "a" in the gamete pool will remain 0.33 and 0. Similarly. "aa" individuals will produce all "a" gametes.33 and the frequency of "a" is 0. 1/2 of the gametes produced by an "Aa" individuals will be "A" and the other half will be "a". "AA" individuals will produce all "A" gametes. males produce many millions of gametes and females produce relatively few. Gene frequency: The next generation .67.In the population above. Individual AA Aa aa Gametes all A 1/2 A. In reality. suppose that each individual produces four gametes. In the example population we have been using. 33% of the genes for eye color in a population are "A" and 67% are "a".67.

Natural selection occurs because . Fortunately. the 3:1 ratio comes only if the parents are both Aa. There is sometimes a misconception among students beginning to study genetics that dominant traits are more common than recessive traits. most people are recessive. Huntington's (a disease of the nervous system) is caused by a dominant gene and the normal gene is recessive.Because the gene frequency in the gamete pool did not change. If there are many recessive genes in a population. the gene frequency in the population the next generation remains the same. 3/4 of the offspring will show the dominant characteristic. As a result. then most matings are likely to be aa X aa or aa X Aa and most offspring will be aa or Aa. blood type O is recessive and is the most common type of blood. organisms become better adapted to their environment. the gene frequency of a population does not change from generation to generation. Natural Selection Natural selection is a mechanism that produces changes in the gene frequency from one generation to the next. The Hardy-Weinberg law states that under certain conditions (discussed below). For example. It isn't true. the dominant is uncommon. However. Should There Be Fewer Recessive Alleles? The population model described above predicts that gene frequencies will not change from one generation to the next even if there are more recessive alleles. The misconception comes from the observation that in a cross of Aa X Aa.

. they are not all identical. You would expect that more of the faster ones would survive and reproduce than the slower ones. For example. they will have more offspring.1. 3. For example. Individuals within a population vary. performance on exams. Perhaps their body structure allows them to escape predators better or to find food faster or to better provide for their young. We would get a similar bell-shaped curve if we plotted height. a graph like the one shown is often produced. if running speed were measured. more offspring will have the better trait. weight. For many traits that occur in a population. individuals are often not all identical. Variation Sexual reproduction promotes genetic variation. Some Variants are Better Some individuals are bound to be better than others. In successive generations. suppose that the faster-running animals diagrammed below are better able to escape predators than the slower ones. If number of individuals is plotted against the trait in question (running speed for example). some individuals would likely be able to run faster than others but most individuals would probably be intermediate. or almost any other characteristic. 2. The traits that vary are heritable. Some variants are "better" than others. These items are discussed below. The "better" individuals will have more success reproducing.

" It does not have anything to do with physical fitness or strength." The word "fitness" used in a biological context means "reproductive. it is the fastest rabbits that reproduce the most. In the example above. As a result. For example. The word "evolution" refers to a change in the genetic composition of a population. A variety of other mechanisms can also produce evolutionary change. suppose that 65% of the eye-color genes in a population were for individuals with blue eyes and 35% of the genes were for brown eyes.The slower rabbits will not reproduce as much because predators kill them more than they kill the faster rabbits. The frequency of individuals with better genes will increase. Natural Selection Produces Evolutionary Change If the conditions discussed above are met. the genetic composition of the population will change from one generation to the next. Individuals that reproduce less as a result of "poorer genes" will not pass those genes to the next generation in high numbers. not the strongest. Traits Are Heritable Those individuals that reproduce more will pass their superior genes to the next generation. If most of the immigrants . Natural selection produces evolutionary change because it changes the genetic composition of populations. This process is called natural selection. This process is called natural selection. Fitness We often hear natural selection described as "survival of the fittest. the population will change from one generation to the next.

the dark form comprised less than 2% of the population and the pale form made up more than 98%. In clean areas. The increased variation due to sexual reproduction allows natural selection (and thus evolution) to produce changes in populations as described above. During the early 1800's. Sexual reproduction acts to increase variation in populations by shuffling genes. most of the peppered moths were the dark form. Changes in the genetic composition of a population occur as a result of changes in reproduction or survival of individuals. most were the pale form. In the polluted area. the overall composition might change from 65% blue to 70% blue. all variation in a population comes from changes in the DNA. Ultimately.7% of the light moths and 4. Kettlewell suggested that dark moths survived better in polluted areas because they were more difficult for avian (bird) predators to see on the darkened tree trunks. Similarly. During the 1800's the dark form increased in frequency in urban areas. he recaptured 13. he suggested that light-colored moths were more difficult to see in unpolluted areas because the tree trunks were light-colored. Offspring have some genes from each of two different parents and therefore are not identical clones of their parents. . He observed that in polluted areas. he released moths of each type (light and dark) in both polluted and unpolluted areas.5% of the dark moths. These changes are called mutations. In the unpolluted area. To test this. it is important to note that multicellular organisms cannot change their genes. Example of Natural Selection: Industrial Melanism Kettlewell studied the peppered moth (Biston betularia) from insect collections in England. he recaptured 13% of the light and 27. Sexual Reproduction and Evolutionary Change Variation Individuals with in a population usually are not all identical and much of this variation is due to genetic differences among individuals. Although natural selection affects individuals.7% of the dark moths.entering the population carried the blue gene.

If the climate were to change so that the amount of rainfall decreased. If there was no variation in the plant population. Other Forces that Change Gene Frequencies Migration can change the gene frequency of a population if the migrants have a different gene frequency than that of the population they are leaving or entering. imagine a plant that is adapted to an environment that has an average annual rainfall of 100 cm. For example. The founder effect occurs when the gene frequency of a newly established population is somewhat different from the parental population. .Recombination during sexual reproduction promotes variation. Sexual reproduction therefore. thus establishing their drought-tolerant genes in subsequent generations. Sperm and eggs (gametes) are produced by a type of cell division called meiosis. individuals that could tolerate less rain would survive and reproduce better. Fluctuating environments Evolutionary change due to natural selection would not be necessary if the environment never changed and the organisms within the environment were optimally adapted to the environment. During meiosis. enables species to survive in fluctuating or changing environments because it promotes variation. there would not be any drought-tolerant individuals and the species would likely go extinct in areas of decreased rainfall. crossing-over andindependent assortment act to shuffle the genes before gametes are produced. which in turn allows natural selection. This may be due to the small sample of founding individuals.

The population on the right is the same population after the bottleneck has occurred. you may get all "heads" or all "tails". During a bottleneck. If the coin is flipped 1000 times. a large population undergoes a decrease in size so that relatively few individuals remain. The expected number of "heads" from flipping a coin is 50% but if a coin is flipped only 4 times.The sample-size phenomenon can be illustrated by flipping a coin. the actual number of "heads" and "tails" will probably not deviate much from 50%. the larger the sample size of emigrants. Below: The gene frequency of the initial population (left) changes because many of the individuals have died. Thus. Below: The population on the right was formed from a few individuals emigrating from the population on the left. the more likely it is to reflect the population from which it is leaving. Because there are few individuals. . the gene frequency is more likely to drift.

the more likely that gene frequencies are likely to fluctuate from generation to generation. or q2) but often has less affect on gene frequencies (p and q). Mutation changes gene frequencies when genes of one type ("A" for example) mutate to another type ("a" for example). The Hardy-Weinberg principle states that if the following conditions are met. As with bottlenecks and the founder effect. the gene frequency of a population will not change from generation to generation: No migration Large population size (no founder effect. The rate of mutation may be low but mutations that confer a strong advantage can have a large affect. Conditions Necessary for Hardy-Weinberg Equilibrium Notice that the gene frequency the next generation is the same as that of the initial population. 2pq.Genetic drift refers to random fluctuations in the gene frequency of a population. The smaller the population. Nonrandom mating can affect genotype frequencies (p2. Natural selection (discussed above) changes gene frequencies when genes or gene combinations are more likely to result in greater reproductive success of the individual that possesses them. no bottlenecks. it is a sample-size phenomenon. no genetic drift) No mutation Random mating No selection . This is more likely to occur in a small population.

Use the models to create two gametes: an egg and a sperm. Be sure that you can do the following using these models of chromosomes: Create a haploid cell. Create a diploid cell. Simulate mitosis in a haploid Simulate meiosis in a diploid cell. Simulate the fusion of the two gametes to create a fertilized egg (called a zygote).Model Chromosomes The drawings of chromosomes below will be cut out and used in class for reviewing mitosis and meiosis in the "Review" section at the beginning of this page. Simulate mitosis in a diploid cell. .

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