Genetic Diversity and Survival of the Fittest

1447 Words Feb 19th, 2018 6 Pages
Genetic variation within a population is important in maintaining or increasing the fitness of members in the population and ultimately the survival of the species. Fitness is the ability for a species of a certain genotype to reproduce and is often times equal to the proportion of the individual’s genes in all the genes of the next generation. Positive correlations have been made between the heterozygosity at the loci and fitness of the Lake Trout, which suggests that heterozygosity may be advantageous to the species (Pujolar et al. 2005). A heterozygote advantage describes the case in which the heterozygote genotype has a higher relative fitness than either the homozygous dominant or homozygous recessive genotype. The fitness of an individual can be exhibited by its phenotype. The environment can contribute to the phenotype as well as both genes on the locus. An experiment conducted by Rowe et al. analyzed the correlation between heterozygosity, fitness, and geography in Natterjack Toads (Bufo calamita). The experiment involved taking samples of populations of the Natterjack Toad from different parts of Great Britain. These populations all varied in census size, degree of isolation and distance from the distributional range edge. The fitness was measured, notably larval survival and growth rates, for the toads under standardized conditions. The results of the experiment…