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Ecology Lecture: Microevolution

Let's do a quick review of our genetic terms... * DNA - the biological macromolecule that encodes genetic information * gene - a section of DNA that encodes the structure of a protein (usually) * allele - one of several different versions of a gene. o dominant - an allele that masks the expression of another, alternate allele o recessive - an allele whose phenotypic effect can be masked by a dominant allele o wild type - the most commonly found/expressed allele in a population o mutant - any allele that is changed (mutated) so that it's different from wild type o homozygous - organism has two copies of the same allele for a particular gene (XX or xx) o heterozygous - organism has two different alleles for a particular gene (Xx) * chromosome - strands of DNA (containing genes) and protein found in a cell nucleus * locus - the physical location of a gene on a chromosome * mutation - any change in a gene o somatic mutation - change of DNA in a somatic (body) cell o germline mutation - change of DNA in a cell that will become sperm or egg. * genotype - the genetic makeup of an organism; all its genes * phenotype - the physical makeup of an organism, as directed by genes & environment * monogenic trait - trait controlled by only one gene (e.g. - tongue rolling) * polygenic trait - trait affected by many different genes (e.g. - human stature/height)

How Do Genes Change?
A population that is genetically identical cannot evolve unless something happens to change some of its genes. A group of genetically identical organisms is known as a CLONE. Without genetic variation, this group cannot evolve. Rarely, wild populations consist of 100% genetically identical organisms, produced without sex. They make up a clone, and in a stable environment, this can be a good arrangement. There's only one problem with this. Environments are not always stable. A clone population is highly susceptible to changes in the environment. If a change occurs that harms one, then it is quite likely that ALL will die, since they are identical! A clone lacks the genetic "safety net" of variation that will allow at least some members of the population to survive and become the parents of the next generation. So sexual reproduction is good in a cruel and changing world. Most natural populations are NOT clones. Their DNA is different because they inherited small changes/mistakes in the DNA from their parents. Such changes are called MUTATIONS.

Mutation is the raw material of evolution Passing on Mutations
Not everyone expresses every trait to the same degree. When a population has a particular trait that is variable, that population is said to be polymorphic for that trait. Let's think of a few examples... A mutation can be one of three things to the organism that inherits it: * beneficial (helps the organism in some way) * deleterious (harms the organism in some way) * neutral (does not affect the organism) Fortunately, even a harmful mutation can be masked if it is recessive and the organism has a dominant version of the gene to mask the harmful recessive one. But what happens if an organism gets two copies of a harmful allele--one from each parent?

An organism with genotype xx cannot make X protein at all. POPULATION GENETICS: The study of microevolution How did the tremendous species diversity around us evolve? We can't go back and watch. When he makes sperm. What would happen if two of the siblings carrying the harmful mutation mate together ? X X x Only 25% will be fully homozygous dominant. Let's say we have a male bug. (anything from your eyebrows to the Himalayas). All of these offspring will survive. over time. . functioning X enzyme. Heterozygosity (the state of being heterozygous) at many gene loci means that even if you carry a harmful allele.mating between closely related individuals # Outbreeding . The normal. gene pool: all the genes at all gene loci in every member of an interbreeding population. Fortunately. since an organism donates only HALF its genes to any offspring (the other half comes from the mother). only one allele will go into each sperm. every organism has two copies of every gene (one from mom. the more likely it is that the offspring will be heterozygous for most of its gene loci. you'll see that 50% will be XX and 50% will be Xx. Microevolution can. evolution: CHANGE over time.mating between individuals that are not closely related. x. since she doesn't have the mutation. POPULATIONS EVOLVE. organic evolution: change in living populations over time. species: similar organisms that can interbreed in nature to produce fertile. The insides of each box represents the possible genotype of 1/4 (25%) of the offspring possible from this mating. which is non-functional. x Inbreeding and Outbreeding # Inbreeding . and will die. population: all individuals of the same species living in a defined geographic area. and make the connection. The most distantly related the parents are. one from dad) An organism with genotype XX or Xx can make normal enzyme X. If this bug mates with a female bug who does not carry this mutation. since they can produce protein X--but half of them are carrying a harmful allele. you will not express it in your phenotype. A hybrid organism is one that is produced by parents that have dissimilar genotypes. But we can observe processes occurring in natural populations and environments now. If you go through and fill the matrix. The normal female produces sperm with only X alleles. The organism with the recessive x allele dies without a normal. and is viable. A mutation of the gene that tells the cell how to build enzyme X causes the cell to instead build a mutant form of the enzyme. viable offspring. His genotype is Xx. you can predict the genotypes of the offspring the pair will produce with a Punnett Square: X x X X The mutant male produces sperm with either X or x.Let's use the example of a mystery gene called "X". lead to Macroevolution. 50% will carry the harmful allele without expressing it (they will be “carriers” of the harmful allele) and 25% will be homozygous recessive and DIE. INBREEDING increases the chances that two harmful (= deleterious) copies of a gene will be inherited and expressed by the offspring. INDIVIDUALS ADAPT. dominant allele (X) codes for an important enzyme that allows the animal to function.

rr). if A + a = 1. If you know the value of q2.0 (100%) Hardy and Weinberg independently noted that at any given point in time. But what if you're a roller? You could be either Rr or Rr.0 (100%). just plug it into the Hardy-Weinberg equation: p2 = 2pq = q2 = p2 + 2pq + q2 . the allele frequencies in a population that is not evolving would be equal to p2 + 2pq + q2 p = frequency of homozygous dominant individuals 2 q = frequency of homozygous recessive individuals 2pq = frequency of heterozygous individuals How can we calculate the expected percentages of each genotype for a population? Let's do an example with tongue rolling in our RiE population. How can we tell? Not by looking. A + a = 1. The following five factors can cause evolution in a natural population: * mutation – changes in the DNA * small population size – non-representative individuals mating * non-random mating – assortative mating * migration into or out of the population * natural selection (more on this later) Measuring Genetic Changes in a Population For a population having two alleles of a particular gene in which A is the dominant allele a is the recessive allele the total number of all alleles.0 (100% of all the alleles in the population) The total number (frequency or proportion) of either allele is equal to: # of allele (A or a)/total # of alleles in the population We abbreviate the frequency of A as p.MICROEVOLUTION is genetic change in a population without speciation. how do you calculate q? q = Now that you know q. then p + q = 1. We abbreviate the frequency of a as q. MACROEVOLUTION is genetic change in a population resulting in new species. masking the non-rolling version of the gene. Therefore. we can’t tell who’s RR or Rr by looking. How many people can roll their tongue? (dominant allele. You can be ONLY rr. But we can figure out what SHOULD be the number by using the Hardy Weinberg equation. The number of non-rollers in the HW equation is equal to q2 (homozygous recessive individuals. R) How many people cannot roll their tongue (recessive allele.0) 2 Now that you have both p and q. Because rolling is dominant. But the HW equation gives us a way to estimate the proportion of rollers who are RR and who are Rr. r) If you're a non-roller. your genotype is easy. what's p? (Hint: Remember p + q = 1.

NO immigration or emigration If new members come into the population. then allele and genotype frequencies will NOT remain constant over generations. This will have a similar effect. instead of two alleles. too) If any of these five conditions are not met in a population.And the proportions should stay the same generation after generation IF OUR POPULATION IS IN "HARDY WEINBERG EQUILIBRIUM" (we are not evolving at the tongue-rolling gene locus). But are we not evolving? Remember. That means the population is EVOLVING at that gene locus. they take their genes with them. change the genetic composition of the population. NO natural selection No member of the population can have a reproductive advantage over any other member of the population because of the trait in question. resulting in new species. This will change the proportions of the alleles in the existing population. (more on this later) Random mating If a population is NOT evolving. GENETIC DRIFT is taking place. And sometimes. they bring their genes with them. small (microevolutionary) changes can add up and foster large (macroevolutionary) change. of course. then every member of the population should have an equal chance of mating with any other member of the population. .. And that will. the faster it will evolve because there's a greater chance for any given gene in the population to disappear.dissimilar individuals tend to mate with each other more often than with other members of the population..This means that of our total number of participants we should EXPECT: * homozygous dominant (RR): * homozygous recessive (rr): * heterozygous (Rr): . Similarly. if members of a population leave. then there are now THREE alleles.. Infinitely large population size The smaller a population. (more on this later.similar individuals tend to mate with each other more often than with other members of the population. NO mutation If one of you has a NEW mutant tongue-rolling allele. * negative assortative mating . this model assumes. When the genetics of a population changes only because the population is small. But this is usually not true in natural populations: * positive assortative mating ..