How does genetic drift differ from natural selection?

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54
Jan 22, 2018

Both natural selection and genetic drift are mechanisms for evolution (they both change allele frequencies over time). The key distinction is that in genetic drift allele frequencies change by chance, whereas in natural selection allele frequencies change by differential reproductive success.

If the frequencies of traits in a population change purely by chance , then genetic drift has occurred. This may happen when a random subset of a population dies (i.e., from a natural disaster or from indiscriminate human hunting). The remaining individuals are left to pass their traits to later generations, but the population has changed, so evolution has occurred.

Natural selection is the process by which the most adaptive traits for an environment become more common generation after generation. It is not a random process. However, it also is not a purposeful process. If a trait enhances an organism's ability to reproduce, then that trait will be more likely to pass to the next generation compared to a trait that does not enhance reproductive success. Natural selection is the process by which these adaptive traits become more common in a population.

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Jan 17, 2016

Answer:

genetic drift is a rapid and sudden change in gene pool of a population

where as natural selection is a gradual process of favoring required genes to the next generation by random breeding

Explanation:

in genetic drift, d/f agents, such as attack of predators over a population, an environmental agent, human interruption(e.g., artificial selection) causes a sudden change in gene pool of a population that may either be useful or harmful....

for example, let say there is a population of a plant specie, in which 40% flowers are purple and 60% flowers are pink...a cow came who can't see pink color for some reason and so ate half the purple flower plants....now this is a genetic drift which removes half of the purple flower gene from the gene pool(regardless of allelic constitution of pink and purple flowers)

in contrast, in natural selection, survival for the fittest rule is applied....so the genes which are more favorable are passed on to the next generations prior to the other genes....this is a gradual process and the results appear slowly over a long period of thousands of generations...

let take the above mentioned population as an example....instead of a genetic drift by cow grazing, if pink flowers are to be favored over purple one, then they will be gradually passed to next generations via breeding process....

in the genetic drift, the change occurred in the next generation, where as in the natural generation, this change will occur over thousands of generations....

note that both the cases are evolving and there is no genetic equilibrium.....

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