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Genetic variation

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Definition

noun, plural: genetic variations

Variations of genomes between members of species, or between groups of species thriving in different parts of the world as a result of genetic mutation


Supplement

In genetics, variation refers to an individual with characteristics different from the others of the same kind. It may also pertain to the variations of genomes between members of species, or between groups of species thriving in different parts of the world. It arises from genetic recombination, particularly the crossing over of chromosomes during gametogenesis. Genetic variation can also result from a mutation, particularly one that brings permanent change in the chromosomal structure. Thus, genetic variation may also pertain to a variant or a mutant. A mutant is an organism possessing characteristic(s) as a result of mutation). Other causes of genetic variation is genetic drift, which is a process of change in the genetic composition of a population as a result of chance or random events (rather than by natural selection).

Genetic variation is essential in maintaining biodiversity among species. It is important in a way that it provides alternative phenotypes which may respond to the environment in different ways.


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