Dictionary » G » Genetic drift

Genetic drift



The process of change in the genetic composition of a population due to chance or random events rather than by natural selection, resulting in changes in allele frequencies over time.


The effect of genetic drift in large populations is usually negligible whereas in small populations, it predominates. In a small population, genetic drift results in some alleles become more common while others become less common over time.

Compare: natural selection

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Could Hardy-Weinberg terminology be more precise?

... perhaps to aid the deduction of causes? Natural selection and genetic drift primarily concern whether individuals reproduce, and subsidiarily whether individuals ...

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by wildfunguy
Wed Nov 19, 2014 4:56 pm
Forum: General Discussion
Topic: Could Hardy-Weinberg terminology be more precise?
Replies: 0
Views: 593

Can human body hair disappear as a result of... clothing?

... Is this correct? I understand that it is possible due to mutation and genetic drift, but is it really probable?

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by jplr
Fri Oct 10, 2014 6:26 pm
Forum: Evolution
Topic: Can human body hair disappear as a result of... clothing?
Replies: 4
Views: 1370


... their environment. The tool-making traits may be eliminated simply by genetic drift. Or the tool-making traits may have certain disadvantages, such as higher energy requirements, ...

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by wildfunguy
Sat Oct 19, 2013 3:13 pm
Forum: Evolution
Topic: Is complexity inevitable?
Replies: 16
Views: 17810


... in each. Quite so! They do add up; and this is the basis of measuring genetic distances and inferring phylogeny. This if very effective; because ... and many will become fixed. This is the basis of "genetic drift". Another implication: the deleterious mutation rate (more than ...

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by ChrisHoStuart
Tue Oct 15, 2013 2:19 pm
Forum: Evolution
Topic: Beneficial mutations vs harmful
Replies: 12
Views: 15616

Questions about phenotypic plasticity

... factor would have to come into play. In a small population, random genetic drift could cause the entire population to lose phenotypic plasticity. Or, plasticity might ...

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by Luxorien
Sun Dec 23, 2012 9:08 pm
Forum: Evolution
Topic: Questions about phenotypic plasticity
Replies: 3
Views: 4325
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