Basic Biology

Genetic diversity describes the genetic differences seen among members of a population. What this means that that every individual on the planet is different from one another in some way. This is because we have either high genetic diversity, or a low genetic diversity, which is seen through the size of the gene pool from which we came. If we happen to live in a gene pool that has a high concentration of genetic diversity, then we are more like to have many different genetic combinations that will change and cause our gene pool to adapt to an always changing environment. Many populations thrive with the introduction of the needed diversity.

A mutation introduces new genetic information into the population by modifying the alleles that already exist within it. Mutations bring changes to the population by introducing new and different alleles to the populations’ already existing gene pool. Sometimes these introductions will bring new alleles to the population that were not there before; but could also exist in other species of the same gene pool. Alleles come from mutations since the beginning of time. They have been introduced and have changed the genetic makeup of the population over and over again, and have been passed on from one to another. These mutations can sometimes be harmful to the species, but the species will change and adapt to these mutations.

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New alleles are not created during sexual reproduction, but new combinations of alleles are produced and new genetic material is then added to the gene pool. During fertilization, genetic information is mixed together to form a complete, new, and unique individual. It does not change the gene pool, but will cause a new species being added to the family and causing new characteristics to be introduced. These new and better features will pass on to the new offspring.

The adding or subtracting from one population to another is called migration. This causes alleles to be added from on distinct population to another. If an individual leaves one population and goes to another, the individual will add to the gene pool of the new population. This might endanger both the old and new populations by either enhancing or reducing either population’s chances of survival.

Size of the population deals with the size of the group that is contained within it. The smaller the group, the less diversity it will have. In contrast, a larger group will have more diversity. Depending on the size of the population, outside influences can have an impact on it; if some alleles are lost that help the population survive, it could inadvertently decrease the size of the population to nonexistence (Enger, 2012) .