Evolutiom- Change Over Time, Is the Process by Which Modern Organisms Have Descended From

Evolutiom- Change Over Time, Is the Process by Which Modern Organisms Have Descended From

Genes and Variation

The study of kinds of number of genes in a populations is called as “population genetics”.

A Gene pool consists of all genes, including all the different alleles, that are present in a population.

The relative frequency of an allele is the number of times that the allele occurs in a gene pool, compared with the number of times other alleles for the same gene occur.

Relative frequency is often expressed as a percentage.

Q 1. The diagram 16-2 shows gene pool for fur color in a population of mice. Calculate. In a total of 50 alleles, 20 alleles are B (black), and 30 are b (brown). How many of each allele would be present in a total of 100 alleles? ______

If relative frequency of B allele decreased in the gene pool, what would happen to the relative frequency of the other allele?Increase or Decrease? ______

In genetic terms, evolution is any change in the relative frequency of alleles in a population.

Sources of Genetic variation

  1. Mutation – change in sequence of DNA due to error in replication, radiation, or chemicals.

Some can affect an organisms fitness(ability to survive & reproduce) others have no effect.

  1. Gene shuffling - Most heritable differences are due to gene shuffling that occurs during the production of gametes.

23 pairs of chromosomes can produce 8.4 million combinations of genes. And crossing over increases the number of genotypes that can appear in offspring. The sexual reproduction results in many different phenotypes. But it does not change the relative frequency of alleles in a population.

The number of phenotypes produced for a given trait depends on how many genes control the trait.

Single gene trait- controlled by single gene- 2 alleles-only 2 possible phenotype

Ex Widow’s peak (allele is dominant over the allele for a straight hairline but is less frequent)

Compare by Bar graph.

Polygenic trait – controlled by 2 or more genes – each gene has 2 or more alleles – many possible genotypes and even more phenotypes.

Ex. Height in Humans. It is represented by symmetrical bell shaped curve.

Evolution as Genetic change - Natural selection does not act on genes. It acts on phenotype and decides which phenotype is suitable to survive and reproduce.

Natural selection on single-gene traits - leads to changes in allele frequencies and thus to evolution.

Q2. Figure 16-5 shows a population of brown lizards in which mutation produces red & black forms.

If population lives in the dark soil then how does a color affect the fitness of the lizards.

What do you predict the lizard population will look like by generation 50?Explain

Natural Selection on Polygenic Traits - action of multiple alleles on traits such as height produces a range of phenotypes that often fit a bell curve.

Natural selection affect the distributions of phenotypes in any of three ways:

  1. Directional Selection- individuals at one end of the curve have higher fitness than in the middle or at the other end.

Ex.- increase in the average size of the beaks of finches who compete for food.

Dotted line - original distribution of beak sizes, Solid line - changed distribution of beak sizes.

Peak shifts as average beak size increases.

  1. Stabilizing Selection– individuals near the center of the curve have higher fitness than individuals at either end of the curve.

Ex. Birth weight of human infants

The smaller babies are less healthy, the larger have difficulty being born therefore both are less fit than the average.The average weighing babies are more likely to survive than smaller or larger.

  1. Disruptive Selection- individuals at the upper and lower ends of the curve have higher fitness than individuals near the middle

The selection acts against an intermediate type & can cause the single curve to split into two (creates two phenotypes.

The average-sized seeds become less common than larger and smaller seeds. The bird population splits into two subgroups eating larger & smaller seeds.

Genetic Drift - The random change in allele frequency is called genetic drift.

Most likely to occur in small population or when a small group of organisms colonize a new habitate.

In small populations, an allele can become more or less common simply by chance.

e.g. individuals that carry a particular allele may leave more descendants than other individuals do, just by chance.

A situation in which allele frequencies change as a result of the migration of a small subgroup of a population is known as the founder effect.

Evolution Versus genetic equilibrium

The Hardy-Weinberg principle states that allele frequencies in a population will remain constant unless one or more factors cause those frequencies to change.

Genetic Equilibrium Occurs when the allele frequencies in the population remain constant & population does not evolve.

Following Five conditions are required to maintain genetic equilibrium:

  1. There must be random mating
  2. The population must be very large
  3. There can be no movement into or out of the population
  4. No mutations
  5. No natural selection

If the above conditions are not met, genetic equilibrium will be disrupted and the population will evolve.


Speciation - formation of new species

When two populations become reproductively isolated, new species evolve.

Following are Reproductive Isolation - two populations cannot interbreed and produce fertile offspring.

  1. Behavioral Isolation - two populations interbreeding but have differences in courtship rituals or other reproductive strategies that involve behavior.
  1. Geographic Isolation - two populations are separated by geographic barriers such as rivers, mountains.

It does not formnew species when it enables to separate populations.

Sometimes tt may separate certain types of organisms but not others.

  1. Temporal isolation - two or more species reproduce at different times.

Q3. What type of reproductive isolation do the following situations illustrate?

  1. The eastern meadowlark and western meadowlark have overlapping ranges. They do not interbreed, because they have different mating songs. ______
  2. The Kaibab squirrel evolved from the Abert squirrel. The Kaibab squirrels were isolated from the main population by the Colorado River.______
  3. The three similar species of orchid living in the same rain forest release pollen on different days hence can not pollinate one another.______.

Testing natural selection in Nature

The bird specimen that Darwin collected looked so different from one another thatthought they were blackbirds, warblers as they differed greatly in the sizes and shapes of their beaks and in their feeding habits. Later he realized that they were all finches and they had descended from a common ancestor. The natural selection shaped the beaks of different bird populations as they adapted to eat different foods.

Read Textbook page 406 – 407 to answer the following

Q4. What type of isolation mechanism was responsible for the formation of different finch species?


Q5. What was the objective of the Grant’ study?______


Q6. What type of Natural selection did the Grants observe in the Galapagos? and why? ______


Q7. How did Grants’ work reinforce Darwin’s hypothesis about the evolution of the finches? ______


Q8. What 2 testable assumptions were the basis for Darwin’s hypothesis about the evolution of the finches?


Q9. Explain how the Galapagos finches may have evolved? (page 408-9)______


Q10. complete the concept map about evolution of population.