The Fate of Mutant AllelesMutation creates new alleles. Each new allele enters the gene pool as a single copy amongst many. Most are lost from the gene pool, the organism carrying them fails to reproduce, or reproduces but does not pass on that particular allele. A mutant's fate is shared with the genetic background it appears in. A new allele will initially be linked to other loci in its genetic background, even loci on other chromosomes. If the allele increases in frequency in the population, initially it will be paired with other alleles at that locus -- the new allele will primarily be carried in individuals heterozygous for that locus. The chance of it being paired with itself is low until it reaches intermediate frequency. If the allele is recessive, its effect won't be seen in any individual until a homozygote is formed. The eventual fate of the allele depends on whether it is neutral, deleterious or beneficial.
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