Genetic diversity

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia Genetic diversity, the level of biodiversity, refers to the total number of genetic characteristics in the genetic makeup of a species. It is distinguished from genetic variability, which describes the tendency of genetic characteristics to vary. Genetic diversity serves as a way for populations to adapt to changing environments. With more variation, it is more likely that some individuals in a population will possess variations of alleles that are suited for the environment. Those individuals are more likely to survive to produce offspring bearing that allele. The population will continue for more generations because of the success of these individuals.[1] The academic field of population genetics includes several hypotheses and theories regarding genetic diversity. The neutral theory of evolution proposes that diversity is the result of the accumulation of neutral substitutions. Diversifying selection is the hypothesis that two subpopulations of a species live in different environments that select for different alleles at a particular locus. This may occur, for instance, if a species has a large range relative to the mobility of individuals within it. Frequency-dependent selection is the hypothesis that as alleles become more common, they become more vulnerable. This is often invoked in host-pathogen interactions, where a high frequency of a defensive allele among the host means that it is more likely that a pathogen will spread if it is able to overcome that allele.

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1 Importance of genetic diversity 2 Survival and adaptation 3 Agricultural relevance 4 Coping with poor genetic diversity 5 Measures of genetic diversity 6 Other Measures of Diversity 7 See also 8 References

[edit] Importance of genetic diversity
There are many different ways to measure genetic diversity. The modern causes for the loss of animal genetic diversity have also been studied and identified.[2][3] A 2007 study conducted by the National Science Foundation found that genetic diversity and biodiversity are dependent upon each other—that diversity within a species is necessary to maintain diversity among species, and

[6] A very similar occurrence is the cause of the infamous Potato Famine in Ireland. They planted namely the “lumper” variety of potato. it can easily wipe out vast quantities of the species. Little to no genetic diversity makes crops extremely susceptible to widespread disease. and offspring often deal with similar problems to those of inbreeding. such as in loss of species. and the community becomes dominated by a single species. which was susceptible to a rot-causing plasmodiophorid called Phytophthora infestans. Dr. [edit] Agricultural relevance When humans initially started farming. "If any one type is removed from the system. According to the lead researcher in the study. With very little gene variation within the species. When a disease causing bacterium changes to attack a specific genetic variation. Species that have very little genetic variation are at a great risk."[4] The interdependence between genetic and biological diversity is delicate. Bacteria morph and change constantly. much of Ireland’s population depended on potatoes for food.[1] [edit] Survival and adaptation Genetic diversity plays a very important role in survival and adaptability of a species because when a species’s environment changes. If the genetic variation that the bacterium is best at attacking happens to be that which humans have selectively bred to use for harvest.[5] The vulnerability of a population to certain types of diseases can also increase with reduction in genetic diversity.vice versa. Changes in genetic diversity. Richard Lankau. and the entire crop is essentially a clone of one potato. Changes in biological diversity lead to changes in the environment. no genetic diversity is developed. In the 1840s. the cycle can break down. the entire crop will be wiped out. Since new potato plants do not come as a result of reproduction but rather from pieces of the parent plant. healthy reproduction becomes increasingly difficult. leads to a loss of biological diversity. Selective breeding leads to monocultures: entire farms of nearly genetically identical plants. it is especially susceptible to an epidemic. A species that has a large degree of genetic diversity among its population will have more variations from which to choose the most fit alleles. Increase in genetic diversity is also essential for a species to evolve. and left one million people to starve to death. . they used selective breeding to pass on desirable traits of the crops while omitting the undesirable ones.[7] This plasmodiophorid destroyed the vast majority of the potato crop. leading to adaptation of the remaining species. slight gene variations are necessary to produce changes in the organisms' anatomy that enables it to adapt and survive.

000 years ago. By mating with multiple males. Heterozygosity is the mean number of individuals with polymorphic loci.[11] [edit] Measures of genetic diversity Genetic Diversity of a population can be assessed by some simple measures.[edit] Coping with poor genetic diversity The natural world has several ways of preserving or increasing genetic diversity. Alleles per locus is also used to demonstrate variability. the mother increases the genetic diversity within a single litter of cubs. or inbreed. which infect the plankton.[10] However. viruses aid in the genetic shifting process. the genetic makeup of the latter changes. Among oceanic plankton. all but the jubatus species of cheetahs died out.only about 5% of cheetahs survive to adulthood. carry genes of other organisms in addition to their own. Extremely low genetic diversity and resulting poor sperm quality has made breeding and survivorship difficult for cheetahs –. Ocean viruses.[9] About 10. They undergo induced ovulation. This constant shift of genetic make-up helps to maintain a healthy population of plankton despite complex and unpredictable environmental changes. it has been recently discovered that female cheetahs can mate with more than one male per litter of cubs. • • • Gene Diversity is the proportion of polymorphic loci across the genome. . When a virus containing the genes of one cell infects another.[8] Cheetahs are a threatened species. The species encountered a population bottleneck and close family relatives were forced to mate with each other. which means that a new egg is produced every time a female mates.

sinauer." Cheetah Conservation Fund. 2008 www. Berkley University. . 2008 www.J. National Science Foundation. M.edu> 8.." National Biological Information Infrastructure. 1998.berkley. ^ Tisdell. 10 Aug. Ecological Economics 45 (3): 365–376. 2006. March 23. Tim. Geological Survey. Retrieved 3/1/2011. 19 Mar. 2002. 2008 <evolution.R. and Carroll.K.[12] [edit] See also Evolutionary biology portal • • • • • • Center of diversity Genetic variation Genetic variability Human genetic variation Human Variome Project International HapMap Project [edit] References ^ a b "National Biological Information Infrastructure". C. ^ "Monoculture and the Irish Potato Famine. Santa Cruz. (2003). MA: Sinauer Associates. C. ^ "Scientists Discover Interplay Between Genes and Viruses in Tiny Ocean Plankton". 19 Mar. U. G. 2.ucsc. (2006) Principles of Conservation Biology (3rd ed. 4.cheetah.gov 6." Understanding Evolution. For example. 2008.).com/groom/ 3. Sunderland. University of California. there is a close link between vertebrate taxonomic and ecological diversity. 19 Mar. 2008 www." University of California. doi:10. "Socioeconomic causes of loss of animal genetic diversity: analysis and assessment". "Currents. 9. ^ Groom.edu 1. Retrieved December 12.nbii. ^ “ Genetic Diversity. ^ "Introduction to Genetic Diversity. 16 Mar. ^ Stephens. ^ Study: Loss Of Genetic Diversity Threatens Species Diversity 5.S. Website with additional information: http://www.1016/S09218009(03)00091-0. Introduction to Genetic Diversity. other types of diversity may be assessed for organisms: • • • • taxonomic diversity ecological diversity morphological diversity Degeneracy There are broad correlations between different types of diversity. NBII. Meffe.org 7.[edit] Other Measures of Diversity Alternatively.

P. Benton. PMID 20106856.A. and Ferry.. 10.1024. [hide]v · d · eGenetics Introduction · History · Related topics · List of organizations Key components Chromosome · DNA · Nucleotide · RNA · Genome Classical genetics · Conservation genetics · Ecological genetics · Fields of genetics Immunogenetics · Molecular genetics · Population genetics · Quantitative genetics Archaeogenetics Americas · British Isles · Europe · Italy · Near East · South Asia of. S. 2007). ^ Fildes. 12.2009. M.1098/rsbl. "Cheating cheetahs caught by DNA". doi:10.. Retrieved December 12. 2008. "Links between global taxonomic diversity. PMC 2936204. ecological diversity and the expansion of vertebrates on land" (PDF).J.. BBC News. Biology Letters 6 (4): 544–547. Related topics View page ratings Rate this page What's this? Trustworthy Objective Complete Well-written I am highly knowledgeable about this topic (optional) Categories: • • • • • • • • Geneticist · Genomics · Genetic code · Medical genetics · Molecular evolution · Reverse genetics · Genetic engineering · Genetic diversity · Heredity · Genetic monitoring Biodiversity Population genetics Log in / create account Article Discussion Read Edit View history . ^ Sahney. 11. (2010). Retrieved December 12.^ "Genetic diversity". 2008. Jonathan (May 29. Cheetah Conservation Fund.

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