Chapter 11 Conservation Genetic

Chapter 11 Conservation Genetic - Chapter 11 Conservation...

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Chapter 11 – Conservation Genetics Loss of species is accompanied by loss of genetic diversity Fundamental theorem of natural selection: The rate of evolutionary change in a popula- tion is proportional to the amount of genetic diversity available. Genetic variation provides the raw material for future adaptation and is the basis for a species’ evolutionary flexibility and responsiveness to environmental change A species genetic diversity exists at 3 fundamental levels: Genetic variation within individuals (heterozygosity) Genetic differences among individuals within a population Genetic differences among populations a) Variation within individuals DNA. Ultimate source of genetic variation is mutation. Neutral genetic variation: genetic material which, while heritable, is not subject to natur- al selection Adaptive variation: genes under selection Mutations occur when DNA is changed in such a way as to alter the genetic message it carries. It can vary in extent. Mutations are either neutral (have no effect), of they alter the expression of the genes, and thus cause changes in an organism’s form or function. Variation within individuals is also produced each generation by recombination (mixing of chromosomal material) Why focus on variation within individuals? First, heritable genetic variation is basis for evolutionary change and is essential if nat- ural selection is to operate. Second, the individual is the level at which genetic problems such as inbreeding occur. Third, knowledge of individual genotypes can help in captive breeding programs. Fourth, genetic variation is always measured in individuals.
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