What do mutation, genetic recombination, and gene flow add to a population?

1 Answer
Jan 21, 2017

mutation, genetic recombination and gene flow add variation to the population.


Natural selection can only select from the existing variations. Natural selection can not create variation.

Variation is important to a population in adapting to a new environment. A lack of variation can lead to the extinction of a population. If there are not varieties of the population that can adapt to the new environment the population can become extinct.

One of the fears of the is that the Cheetah population will become extinct because there is very little genetic variation in the Cheetah population.

Light skin is important in northern environments because of the need to absorb sunlight to create vitamin D. Dark skin is a better adaption where the sunlight is more intense. Dark skin protects from the uv light that creates skin cancer. The human genome has perhaps 30,000 or more genes. This gives # 2^30000# possible variations in the human population.

Mutations like the loss of the eye tissue allows the blind fish to have adapted to the environment in the underground lakes and rivers. Bacteria adapt to an environment with antibiotics by losing some genetic material through mutations. Mutations provide another source of variation.

Genetic variation from multiple sources is vital for a population to be able to adapt to different environments. Without variation natural selection will lead to extinction of the population.