Hey All AIPMT Biology Aspirants, learn about Gene Flow and Genetic drift, which are the two major evolutionary processes, out of four.
GENE FLOW: It’s simply the flow/movement of genes from one population to other.
- Gene flow occurs when individuals leave one population, join another, and breed.
- Transfer of alleles into or out of a population occurs due to the movement of fertile individuals or their gametes.
- Frequency of alleles changes when gene flow occurs, because arriving individuals introduce new alleles to new population, while departing individuals remove alleles from their source population.
- New genes/alleles are added to the new population and these are lost from the old population.
- It is an important agent of evolutionary change.
- Emigration from a source population removes alleles from this population. Immigration to a new population adds new alleles to this new population. So, emigration and immigration results in gene flow.
- It equalizes allele frequencies between the source population and the recipient population.
GENETIC DRIFT: If the change in allele frequencies occurs randomly or by chance, it is called by genetic drift.
- Genetic drift can cause allele frequencies to fluctuate unpredictably from one generation to the next, especially in small populations.
- Sometimes the change in allele frequency is so different in the new sample of population that they become a different species.
- It is significant in small populations.
- It can cause allele frequencies to change at random.
- It can lead to a loss of genetic variation within populations.
- It can cause harmful alleles to become fixed.
- It may cause those alleles to increase in frequency that decrease fitness.
Certain circumstances can result in genetic drift having a significant impact on a population. Two examples are the Founder effect and the Bottleneck effect.
The Founder Effect: When a few individuals become isolated from a larger population, this smaller group may establish a new population whose gene pool differs from the source population; this is
called as founder effect. And the isolated population is called founders.
- Founder effect may also occur, when a few members of a population are blown by a storm to a new island.
The Bottleneck Effect: A sudden change in the environment, such as a fire or flood, may drastically reduce the size of a population. This severe drop in population size can cause bottleneck effect.
- Population has passed through a “bottleneck” that reduces its size.
- Bottleneck effect causes sudden reduction in the number of alleles in a population.
- It causes certain alleles may be over-represented among the survivors, others may be under-represented, and some may be absent altogether.