lab 5 - Predation Preferences and Effects of Genetic Drift...

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Predation Preferences and Effects of Genetic Drift on Coleoptera spp. Population
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Introduction: Microevolution is a biological process where a change in allele frequencies of a population occurs (Masatoshi and Fumio 1981). Allele frequency is how frequently a gene expresses itself in a population. (Masatoshi and Fumio 1981). The four driving forces of microevolution are natural selection, genetic drift, gene flow and mutation (Russell et al.2010). Natural selection is a process which increases the frequencies of traits that increases the chance of species’ survival and reproductive success. (George 1957). On the other hand, genetic drift is a process that favours one trait over the other completely due to chance events in nature. (Masatoshi and Fumio 1981). Moreover, gene flow increases allele frequency of a trait through the means of migration from one population and area to another (Russell et al.2010). One of the biggest forces of changes in allele frequency is mutation where mistakes occur in gene sequence of DNA ultimately causing changes in the genetic makeup of an organism (Russell et al. 2010). In order to evaluate the mechanisms of genetic differentiation, the knowledge of population size is necessary (Brain and Spencer 1992). From the four mechanisms of microevolution the one that is dependent most on population size is genetic drift (George 1957). For this experiment, the effect of Coleoptera spp. population size and genetic drift was studied. The purpose of this experiment was to see the correlation of population size with the number of surviving individual from random predation. Genetic drift was represented in this experiment as the random predation of three different coloured Coleoptera spp. The three colours used are red, yellow and orange. The number of surviving individuals was collected over 20 generations of Coleoptera spp. To understand how the population size affect the outcomes of predation due to chance, two different population sizes
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of 30 individuals, 10 of each colour and 120 individuals, 40 of each colour Coleoptera spp. was observed. It was assumed that no other mechanism of microevolution is acting on these populations and no colour has any advantage over any other colour. It was hypothesized that as the population size increases the random predation of Coleoptera spp. is not effective and fewer fluctuations are evident in the populations of three different coloured Coleoptera spp. As a result genetic drift decreases. Also in this experiment, the effect of predation preferences and the size of three different
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lab 5 - Predation Preferences and Effects of Genetic Drift...

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