9.1: Mechanisms of Evolution and Their Effect on Populations pg

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1 9.1: Mechanisms of Evolution and Their Effect on Populations pg Key Terms: gene flow, non-random mating, genetic drift, founder effect, bottleneck effect, stabilizing selection, directional selection sexual selection. Genetic variation of individuals within a population makes evolution possible. Sexual reproduction leads to variation, as each new individual obtains a new combination of alleles from their parents. Mutations also randomly occur entering the generation, providing the potential for new traits to develop. Natural selection acts upon the variation in a non-random way, where an individual with genes that help them survive will reproduce, allowing them to pass along those genes to their offspring and increasing the proportion of that gene in the population. Individuals do not evolve, populations do. The gene pool of a population consists of all the alleles of all genes of each individual in the population. (p + q = 1.00)

2 Factors That Change Allele Frequencies in Populations Changing percentages, or frequencies, of alleles within populations are the small events that lead to evolution within a population, or microevolution. When the frequency of an allele in a population changes; microevolution has occurred. There are five common factors that lead to evolutionary change; Mutation: changes in DNA, leads to the introduction of new alleles into the population. An inheritable mutation has the potential to affect an entire gene pool. The more genetic variation within the population, the greater the diversity of the population, and the greater the chance of a selective advantage to some individuals in a changing environment. e.g.: Norway rat and Warfarin rat poison. Gene Flow: occurs when individuals from two different interbreeding populations that have different allele frequencies, migrate to the other population and reproduce. Gene flow describes the movement of alleles from one population to another by migration of individuals. Having a greater diversity may help the population survive by natural selection. Figure 9.2: Gene flow between grey wolf populations is quite common. Individuals travel long distances and may join or otherwise interact with members of other populations.

3 Gene flow is the net movement of alleles from one population to another due to the migration of individuals. Figure 9.1: Through gene flow, modelled here, genetic information is exchanged between individuals of different populations. Non-random Mating: occurs when mates are specifically selected, often selected on the basis of phenotype. Non-random mating determines which male will mate with which female leading to preferred phenotypes, selective breeding. Random mating is unable to predict which males will mate with which females. Non-random mating is mating among individuals on the basis of mate selection for particular phenotype or due to inbreeding. Figure 9.3: The male caribou spar with each other to be able to mate with a female in the herd. Learning Check: questions 1 6 pg. 352 Genetic Drift

4 Genetic Drift is the change in frequencies of alleles due to chance events in a breeding population. In nature the size of the population is a factor in allele frequency changes. The smaller the population is, the greater the opportunity for a change by chance. The larger the population is, the less likely a chance event will change the allele frequency. Most natural populations are large enough that the effects of genetic drift are small. There are two situations that can lead to significant genetic drift, The Founder Effect and Bottleneck Effect. Genetic Drift: The Founder Effect Founder effect is a change in a gene pool that occurs when a few individuals start a new isolated population. These individuals will carry some alleles from the original population gene pool, but not all. Therefore when they repopulate a new region the gene pool is not the same as the original population. Genetic Drift: The Bottleneck Effect Bottleneck effect are changes in gene distribution that results from a rapid decrease in population size. A natural disaster can quickly reduce the size of a large population. The survivors only represent a small sample of the original gene pool of the population. Once they repopulate the region, it is less likely that it would be the same as the original gene pool. The bottleneck effect is often seen in species driven to the edge of extinction.

5 Figure 9.8: In this model, the parent population has equal numbers of green and yellow individuals and a few red. A chance catastrophe leaves mostly green survivors with a few yellow and no red. The next generation is mostly green, with a few yellow. Learning Check: questions 7 12 pg. 356 Natural Selection Natural Selection: is the result of environmental factors selecting individuals in the population with certain traits that make them better suited to survive and reproduce. Population has a wide variety of phenotypes and genotypes, and some individuals produce more offspring than the environment can support (carrying capacity). Selective forces, such as; predation and competition, will lead to selecting individuals with traits best suited to survive. If there is a greater chance of an individual with the slightly favourable allele surviving, reproducing, and passing this allele to offspring, then the trait will appear more often within the population and its gene pool, which can lead to an evolutionary change. There are three types of natural selection graphs;

6 Stabilizing Selection Stabilizing selection is natural selection that favours intermediate phenotypes and acts against extreme variants. Figure 9.9: The population before natural selection (top) and after (bottom). The brown area shows the general population. Directional Selection Directional selection is natural selection that favours the phenotypes at one extreme over another, resulting in the distribution curve of phenotypes shifting in the direction of that extreme. Figure 9.9: The population before natural selection (top) and after (bottom). The brown area shows the general population

7 Disruptive Selection Disruptive selection is natural selection that favours the extremes of a range of phenotypes rather than intermediate phenotypes; this type of selection can result in the elimination of intermediate phenotypes. Figure 9.9: The population before natural selection (top) and after (bottom). The brown area shows the general population Sexual Selection Sexual selection - is natural selection for mating based, in general, on competition between males and choices made by females. Sexual selection also involves the choices made females when selecting their mates. Males and females of many animal species often have different physical characteristics, such as; male mallard ducks colourful plumage compared to the female (sexual dimorphism), and courtship displays help in selecting a mate.

8 Figure 9.10: Male mallard ducks (Anas platyrhynchos) are distinguished from females by their green heads. The coloration of females is brown with white spots. Review Questions: questions 1 11 pg. 359 Activity 9.1: Identify the Type of Selection pg. 358 Study Guide: Self Assessment 1 13 pg How Do Populations Evolve? (9.1) 1-5 pg Evolution by Natural Selection (9.1) 1 2 pg. 135

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