Sunday, 13 April 2008

Hardy-Weinberg Question #3


Which of the following conditions would tend to make the Hardy-Weinberg equation more accurate for predicting?
  • Small population size
  • Little gene flow with surrounding populations
  • A tendency on the part of females to mate with the healthiest males
  • The existence of directional selection
  • Mutations that alter the gene pool


What the question is referring to is that many populations are roughly in genetic equilibrium. In other words, if you calculate the frequencies of the various alleles at one time, you can predict that the frequencies will be roughly the same in the future.

However, there are five critieria that a population must have in order to be in genetic equilibrium. Put another way, there are five things that, if violated, will make a prediction based on the the Hardy-Weinberg equation less accurate. They are:

  1. A large population size
  2. Random mating
  3. No mutations
  4. No migration
  5. No natural selection

And so option B, which is basically a more accurate phrasing of the fourth criterion above, is the correct one.

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