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 ...

Zooplankton study challenges traditional views of evolution

In new research, Arizona State University scientists and their colleagues investigated genetic changes occurring in a naturally isolated population of the water flea, Daphnia pulex. This tiny crustacean, barely visible to ...

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. ...

Leafy greens grown by night prove cheaper and just as good

Utility companies offer flexible electricity rates depending on the time of day to reduce demand at peak hours. That way, consumers can save some money, say, by using the dishwasher or tumble dryer at night. And the utilities ...

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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