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In very small populations, allele frequencies may change dramatically from one generation to the next, due to the vagaries of mate choice or other random events. For instance, half a dozen individuals with the dominant allele may, by chance, have fewer offspring than half a dozen with the recessive allele. This would have little effect in a population of one thousand, but it could have a dramatic effect in a population of twenty. Such changes are known as genetic drift. see also Gene Flow; Genetic Drift; Inheritance Patterns; Mutation; Population Bottleneck; Population Genetics.

Richard Robinson


Hartl, D. L., and A. G. Clark. Principles of Population Genetics, 3rd ed. Sunderland, MA: Sinauer, 1997.

Heatshock Protein See Chaperones

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