Genetic Diversity - Bottlenecks and the Founder Effect

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  • Created by: alice
  • Created on: 01-06-10 13:03
  • The more alleles a population has, the more diverse it is genetically.
  • Mutations in DNA and new members migrating into the population (gene flow) both add to the variation of alleles.

A genetic bottleneck:

  • When an event causes a massive reduction in the number of organisms in a population, so there aren't as many of them to reproduce
  • There are less alleles in the gene pool as a result
  • This reduces genetic diversity
  • A common example of this is the Northern Elephant Seals, which were hunted a lot and so their population was reduced. Then a few individuals went on to reproduce and the numbers slowly rose, but they had less of a variation of alleles.


The Founder Effect: when a few individuals start a new colony - there's more inbreeding (ew) and so more genetic disease.

So this could be like the


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