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Genetic equilibrium

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Definition

noun

A condition where a gene pool is not changing in frequency because the evolutionary forces acting upon the allele are equal, thus, resulting in a population to not evolve even after several generations


Supplement

Genetic equilibrium is a condition where a gene pool is not changing in frequency across generations. This is because the evolutionary forces acting upon the allele are equal. As a result, the population does not evolve even after several generations. It is an ideal or theoretical state that provides a baseline to measure genetic change from.

Genetic equilibrium makes use of Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium as one of its theoretical frameworks. Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium is a principle assuming that both allele and genotype frequencies would remain constant in a randomly-mating population to achieve genetic equilibrium. Accordingly, there is genetic equilibrium from generation to generation until a disturbing influence is introduced, e.g. mutations, random genetic drift, gene flow, and selection. The Hardy-Weinberg would therefore assume genetic equilibrium when there are no gene mutations occurring at the locus or loci for the trait, no natural selection influencing the locus or trait, and no immigration, emigration or migration happening. There should also be a large population size where random mating occurs.


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