The Evolution of Populations

Natural selection acts on individuals, but populations evolve

• Anagenesis (microevolution)
– Is change in the genetic makeup of a population from generation to generation

20.1

Populations
ALASKA

MAP AREA

CANADA

• are localized group of individuals that are capable of interbreeding and producing fertile offspring
Beaufort Sea Porcupine herd range

• Fairbanks

N TE OR RR TH IT W E O S RI T ES

20.2

ALASKA YUKON

Fortymile herd range

• Whitehorse

The Gene Pool
• Is the total group of genes in a population at any one time • Consists of all genes in all individuals of the population

20.2

The Hardy-Weinberg Theorem
– Describes a population that is not evolving – States that the frequencies of alleles and genotypes in a population’s gene pool remain constant from generation to generation provided that only Mendelian segregation and recombination of alleles are at work

20.3

The Hardy-Weinberg Theorem
• The five conditions for non-evolving populations are rarely met in nature. • They are:
– – – – – Extremely large population size No gene flow (breeding between populations) No mutations Random mating No natural selection

20.3

The Hardy-Weinberg Theorem
p = dominant allele q = recessive allele

PARENTS

p + q = 1 (100%)
OFFSPRING

p2 + 2pq + q2 = 1 (100%)
Homozygous dominant Heterozygous Homozygous recessive

20.3

Mutation and Sexual Recombination (crossing over in meiosis)
• produce the variation in gene pools that contributes to differences among individuals

20.5

Mutation
• Mutations
– Are changes in the nucleotide sequence of DNA

– Cause new genes and alleles to arise

• Mutation rates
– Average about one mutation in every 100,000 genes per generation
20.5

• If humans have 25,000 genes, then one mutation would occur in every _______ individuals per generation.

Sexual Recombination
– Is far more important than mutation in producing the genetic differences that make adaptation possible

20.5

Genetic drift
– Describes how allele frequencies can fluctuate unpredictably from one generation to the next – Tends to reduce genetic variation
CRCR CRCW CRCR Only 5 of 10 plants leave offspring CW CW CRCW CW CW CRCW CRCW CRCR CRCW CRCW Generation 2 p = 0.5 q = 0.5 CW CW CRCR CRCW CRCR CRCR Only 2 of 10 plants leave offspring CRCR CRCR CRCR CRCR CRCR CRCR CRCR CRCR CRCR

CWCW CRCW CRCR

CRCR

CRCR

Generation 1 p (frequency of CR) = 0.7 q (frequency of CW) = 0.3

Generation 3 p = 1.0 q = 0.0

20.6

Figure 23.7

Genetic Drift in a small population

20.6

The Bottleneck Effect
– A sudden change in the environment may drastically reduce the size of a population – The gene pool may no longer be reflective of the original population’s gene pool

20.7

Original population

Bottlenecking event

Surviving population

Understanding the bottleneck effect
– Can increase understanding of how human activity affects other species
A small population of approximately thirty grizzly bears lives isolated in the Selkirk Mountains of northern Idaho. Reduced in number by human activity, this population is rarely able to interbreed with surrounding larger populations resulting in a genetic bottleneck.

20.7

Grizzly Bear Distribution

20.7

The Founder Effect
• The founder effect
– Occurs when a few individuals become isolated from a larger population – Can affect allele frequencies in a population

Wolves often disperse far from their pack and start founder populations

20.7

Gene Flow
– Results from the breeding of individuals from separate populations – Tends to reduce differences between populations over time

20.7

Relative Fitness
– Is the contribution of a genotype to the next generation as compared to the contributions of alternative genotypes for the same locus – 0 for genotypes that are not passed to offspring – 1 for genotypes that are always passed to offspring
20.8

Why Natural Selection Cannot Fashion Perfect Organisms
• Evolution is limited by historical constraints • Adaptations are often compromises • Chance and natural selection interact • Selection can only edit existing variations
20.9