Population Genetics. Outline. Key Concepts: How does a population evolve?

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1 Population Genetics How does a population evolve? Outline 1. Key Concepts 2. Individuals Don t evolve, Populations Do 3. The Hardy-Weinberg Theorem 4. The Microevolution and Natural Selection 5. Genetic drift 6. Gene flow Key Concepts: Individuals of a population have the same number and kinds of genes In a population, a gene may exist in different forms Microevolution means that changes have occurred in a population s allele frequencies Allele frequencies can change through mutations, gene flow, genetic drift, nonrandom mating, and natural selection 1

2 Individuals Don t t Evolve, Populations Do Population - Is a localized group of individuals that are capable of interbreeding and producing fertile offspring Polymorphism - traits come in two or more distinct forms Gene Pool - pool of genetic resources that, in theory, is shared by all members of the population Polymorphism A Gene Pool 2

3 The Hardy-Weinberg Theorem The Hardy-Weinberg Theorem: The frequences of alleles in the gene pool will remain constant unless acted by other agents This is a theoretical state in which a population is not evolving Only if: There is no mutation The population is very large and Isolated from other populations There is no selection Random mating The Hardy-Weinberg theorem Punnett Square p A q a p A AA(p 2 ) Aa(pq) q a Aa(pq) aa(q 2 ) 3

4 Frequencies in Gametes F 1 genotypes: Gametes: 0.49 AA 0.42 Aa 0.09 aa A A A a a a A 0.3a Five Causes of Microevolution Mutations Gene flow - Emigration and immigration of individuals (Flow of alleles) Genetic Drift Changes in the gene pool of a small population due to chance Nonrandom mating Natural selection Natural Selection Steps in the process of evolution by natural selection 1. There is genetically-based variation in a population (from random mutation) 2. Some individuals are more fit a certain environment (with certain genetic-based traits have greater reproductive success than others 3. Individuals with phenotypes that are better adapted to the environment pass more copies of their alleles into next generation 4. As a result, there is a change in allele frequency overtime ( = microevolution) 4

5 Natural Selection Natural selection causes changes in gene frequencies of a population 1. Natural selection does not cause genetic changes in individuals 2. Natural selection befalls individuals, but evolution occurs in populations 3. Only natural selection generally leads to an accumulation of favorable adaptations in a population (Darwinian Changes) Natural selection is an outcome of differences in survival and reproduction among individuals Genetic drift Genetic drift Describes how allele frequencies can fluctuate unpredictably from one generation to the next Tends to reduce genetic variation C W C W C W C W Only 5 of 10 plants leave offspring CW C W Only 2 of 10 plants leave offspring C W C W CR C W Generation 1 p (frequency of C R ) = 0.7 q (frequency of C W ) = 0.3 Generation 2 p = 0.5 q = 0.5 Figure 23.7 Generation 3 p = 1.0 q = 0.0 The Bottleneck Effect In 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 (a) Shaking just a few marbles through the narrow neck of a bottle is analogous to a drastic reduction in the size of a population after some environmental disaster. By chance, blue marbles are over-represented in the new population and gold marbles are absent. Figure 23.8 A Original population Bottlenecking event Surviving population 5

6 Bottlenecking is an important concept in conservation biology of endangered species. Populations that have suffered bottleneck incidents have lost at least some alleles from the gene pool. This reduces individual variation and adaptability. For example, the genetic variation in the three small surviving wild populations of cheetahs is very low when compared to other mammals. bottleneck effect Understanding the bottleneck effect Can increase understanding of how human activity affects other species (b) Similarly, bottlenecking a population of organisms tends to reduce genetic variation, as in these northern elephant seals in California that were once hunted nearly to extinction. Figure 23.8 B Gene Flow Gene flow Causes a population to gain or lose alleles Results from the movement of fertile individuals or gametes Tends to reduce differences between populations over time 6

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