Incorporating Genetics into Evolutionary Theory

Incorporating Genetics into Evolutionary Theory -...

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Incorporating Genetics into Evolutionary Theory The discrete genes Mendel discovered would exist at some frequency in natural populations. Biologists wondered how and if these frequencies would change. Many thought that the more common versions of genes would increase in frequency simply because they were already at high frequency. Hardy and Weinberg independently showed that the frequency of an allele would not change over time simply due to its being rare or common. Their model had several assumptions -- that all alleles reproduced at the same rate, that the population size was very large and that alleles did not change in form. Later, R. A. Fisher showed that Mendel's laws could explain continuous traits if the expression of these traits were due to the action of many genes. After this, geneticists accepted Mendel's Laws as the basic rules of genetics. From this basis, Fisher, Sewall Wright and J. B. S. . Haldane founded the field of population genetics. Population genetics is a field of biology that attempts to measure and explain the levels of genetic variation in populations. R. A. Fisher studied the effect of natural selection on large populations. He demonstrated that even very small selective differences amongst alleles could cause appreciable changes in allele
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This note was uploaded on 11/14/2011 for the course BIO BSC1010 taught by Professor Gwenhauner during the Fall '10 term at Broward College.

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Incorporating Genetics into Evolutionary Theory -...

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