Genetics reveal ancient trade routes of Four Corners potato

A new study shows that a native potato species was brought to southern Utah by Indigenous people in the distant past, making it a candidate for the only culturally significant plant species to have been domesticated in the ...

Peeling back the genetic layers of stone fruit domestication

The Prunus genus, encompassing apricots, peaches, plums, and mei, is vital due to its economic and nutritional value. However, the genetic foundations of these species' shared and unique traits remain largely unexplored. ...

Genetic diversity

Genetic diversity is a level of biodiversity that refers to the total number of genetic characteristics in the genetic makeup of a species. It is distinguished from genetic variability, which describes the tendency of genetic characteristics to vary.

The academic field of population genetics includes several hypotheses and theories regarding genetic diversity. The neutral theory of evolution proposes that diversity is the result of the accumulation of neutral substitutions. Diversifying selection is the hypothesis that two subpopulations of a species live in different environments that select for different alleles at a particular locus. This may occur, for instance, if a species has a large range relative to the mobility of individuals within it. Frequency-dependent selection is the hypothesis that as alleles become more common, they become less fit. This is often invoked in host-pathogen interactions, where a high frequency of a defensive allele among the host means that it is more likely that a pathogen will spread if it is able to overcome that allele.

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