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Chapter

Cover Genetics

The Genetics of Populations  

This chapter delves into population genetics with a human focus and explores the assumptions of the Hardy—Weinberg equilibrium model. It reviews the many different types of evolutionary change which can operate in order to shape the genetic structure of a population and the imprints these leave at the level of the genome. It also features long-term studies of bacterial populations presented as a method to explore evolution experimentally. The chapter describes how transmission of alleles and genotypes within a population can be assessed, even when the individual matings cannot be monitored. It defines non-random mating as the main process that affects genotype frequencies without affecting allele frequencies directly, which can result in population stratification.

Chapter

Cover Thrive in Genetics

Genetics of Populations  

This chapter examines population genetics, which analyses the patterns of genetic variation shown by groups of individuals, i.e. by populations. This contrasts with the main concern of Mendelian genetics and, to a large extent, of quantitative genetics, as both focus on the genotype of individuals and the genotypes resulting from single mating. Population genetics explores the evolutionary processes that shape a population’s genetic variation, i.e. mating systems, migration, mutation, population size, and selective forces. The chapter then considers how the analysis of genetic diversity in populations of endangered species helps formulate conservation policies. Ultimately, the genetic variation within and between different populations is described in terms of frequencies of alleles and resulting genotypes. The chapter looks at the Hardy–Weinberg equilibrium, non-random mating, natural selection, and genetic drift.