Genetic Diversity

As a branch of biology, genetic diversity deals with a massive number of species which are found on earth and their diversity. This department of biology is affected by current natural issues which cause mutation. Besides, sexual reproduction, the dimension of the population and the degree of migration have an effect on the study of genetic diversity. Of all these factors, mutation has been the most technical which has had more targeted laid on. Through mutation, the characteristics of organisms are permanently changed, and to an extent, some traits are completely lost. The anopheles mosquito which transmits malaria is an example of an animal that is notion to be undergoing mutation which will pose a great danger to the human population. On the positive side of it, mutation has been essential is guaranteeing an evolutionary relationship where the well-adapted organisms are naturally selected.
Evolution in the population genetics is considered to as the gene pool changes which trigger progressive adaptations in any given environment. Geneticists have found out for processes which affect the frequency of the alleles in the population. These are the migration, random genetic shift, mutation and the natural selection. These processes are responsible for the cumulative changes the population’s genetic traits. In any given large population, the frequency of the alleles is stable without changing as a result of the random reproduction. The genetic variation in a given population can only be increased by mutations and migrations which bring in new alleles in the new population. Besides, the variation in the population has been attributed to over dominance where both the alleles are favored.
Sexual reproduction is another factor which favors genetic diversity in a given population. This type of reproduction is a propagation process where the male and the female gametes from the parents unite. In human beings, the males are responsible for carrying the sperm which is the male gamete that is small and motile (Hosken 43). The females have the eggs which nourish the embryo. Considering other animals like the sea horses, the situation is different in that it is the male that gets pregnant (Stölting & Anthony 850). Unlike the asexual reproduction, sexual reproduction must involve two partners. Migration comes after the sexual reproduction and has been for a long time changing the environment’s natural equilibrium. Researches in the field of genetic diversity have come to a conclusion that whenever an organism moves from a population and enters another one, it tends to subtract the genetic information from the population it left and adds information on the one it joins (Marks et al. 4958).
Human activities have also been affecting the genetic diversity of various organisms. Whenever there are changes in the environment, the process of natural selection is induced making only the fittest organism to survive. The coastal zones, there are anthropogenic impacts that are caused by a number of factors thus threatening the survival of the organisms. These include the artificial selection, the release of the farmed fish into the waters as well as the degradation of the natural habitats. Artificial selection will happen during harvesting and aquaculture. The degradation of the habitats has being associated with the reduction of the organisms and thus increases the chances of inbreeding. Whenever farmed fish are released into the wild, the sum total of the genes is often reduced. The population is therefore left without the ability to adapt to the anthropogenically changes cause in the environment.
Every living organism has genes which have their unique characteristics. This fact can be explained through the use of human beings as an example where every individual has a unique face from the other, an indicator of genetic individuality. Gene diversity can also encompass the distinct populations of a given single species like the numerous rose varieties and the thousands of dog breeds. Most of the distinct dog breeds in the world have been created by human beings through the selective breeding. The genetic variation in the breeds has however increased as a result of their divergence. Other good examples of the genetic diversity are the woody species of plants like trees that are said to have a more genetic diversity than other plant species. Cheetahs have also been of great interests to the geneticists because of going through a bottleneck effect in a period estimated to be 10 000 years (Nei 283). While most species vary by a fifth of their genes, cheetahs vary by one percent. This has placed the animals under a great threat of low genetic variability which might not guarantee a reproductive success,
Various researches have been conducted to specifically establish how the genetic diversity come about. In the inheritance process, the nucleotides are randomly shuffled and then recombined to come up with new combinations which are different to the original parent forms. Every human being is a reflection of these unique combinations of the parents’ alleles. The only difference when the parents’ alleles do not take up in the combination process is when cloning is done. Cloning interferes with the natural process of variation and has come under great criticism from religious leaders as a result of the ethical issues. One of the successive cloning operation has been on the dolly sheep.
Genetic diversity has been of utmost importance in the maintenance of a healthy population. Alleles which are essential in guaranteeing the resistance to diseases, stresses and pests are passed to the offspring. This maintenance of the population’s diversity also acts as a buffer to withstand changes that can be flexibly adapted. Whenever there is a change in the environment, those organisms with a higher number of variability alleles stand a better chance to survive. The survival can be in new environments or extreme harsh conditions such as epidemics and droughts. The process of domesticating organisms has been associated with the hindrance to the genetic diversity in a number of crop species. The decrease in the genetic diversity is associated with a genetic bottleneck which is imposed as a result of a few plants being selected for propagation. The situation is made even worse when considering the consumer market of crop products. For example, there are those people who can only have the red apples in the market. When the largest portion of consumers prefers this type of fruit, chances are higher that the green type will be neglected. This situation can be healthy for the growth of businesses but not health in nature.
In understanding the genetic diversity, the population is understood from two perspectives which are the population stratification and size. In any given habitat, the population continues to be modified through immigrations and births as well as emigration and deaths. It is for this reason that geneticists prefer to define the population as the location within which an organism can find a mate (Nei 284). The breeding population has been of great interest in understanding evolution and genetic diversity. In terms of evolution, the population size concentrates more on the organisms that are breeding which are different from rest in the total population. This is why the breeding population has always been lower than the total population. Researchers can accurately determine the breeding population which does not give the population size. Another important factor to consider about the genetic diversity is that variations are never uniform in any given population. The stratifications in the population is associated with factors that evolutionary.
Conclusively, the genetic diversity as a biological concept has guaranteed the survival of all the living organisms on earth. The inability of some organism to adapt to the changes in the environment has seen them become extent with no traces in the future. Researchers have gained much interest in the field of genetic diversity, something that has made the branch of biology being taken to new height. For examples, it is now possible to calculate the genetic diversity through the determination of the population’s variability. The field has now become so wide with the knowledge generated assisting in answering tough biological questions. It is, therefore, worth appreciating the fact that the survival of the human beings in the future will depend on how well the principles of genetic diversity will be in progress. Human beings, among other organisms that will not effectively adapt to the new environments, will face extinction.
Works Cited
Hosken, David J. “The Evolutionary Origin and Maintenance of Sperm: Selection For a Small Motile Gamete Mating Type.” Sperm biology: an evolutionary perspective, 2008, p. 43.
Marks, Sarah J., et al. “Migration Distance Rather Than Migration Rate Explains Genetic Diversity in Human Patrilocal Groups.” Molecular Ecology, vol. 21, no. 20, 2012, p. 4958.
Nei, Masatoshi. “Genetic Distance Between Populations.” The American Naturalist, vol. 106, no. 949, 1972, pp. 283-284.
Stölting, Kai N., and Anthony B. Wilson. “Male Pregnancy in Seahorses And Pipefish: Beyond the Mammalian Model.” BioEssays, vol. 29, no. 9, 2007, pp. 884-896.

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