Genetic divergence refers to the process through which 2 or more populations of the same ancestral species amass genetic changes or mutation over time. This often occurs once the populations are reproductively secluded for certain duration. There are instances when subpopulations living in environments that are ecologically distinct show signs of genetic divergence from the rest of the population especially in cases where the population is very immense.
Some of these genetic differences among populations might include silent mutations which don’t have any effects on phenotypes or lead to significant changes whether physiological and/or morphological. At all times, genetic divergence is accompanied by reproductive isolation which can be as a result of novel adaptations through selection and/or as a result of genetic drift. This is in essence the major principal that underlies speciation.
The technique of detecting and directing two or more desirable genetic traits artificially is known as genetic divergence technology. Genetic divergences that occur naturally are often seen in high character levels of function and structure that can be observed readily in different species. For instance the limb of the vertebrate is a classic example of genetic divergence that occurs naturally. In numerous varying species, the limb can be traced back to an origin that is common.
While this is the case, it has diverged not only in its overall function but the structure as well. The technology of genetic divergence is applicable in the biology of molecular characteristics. Ideally, this is applicable to the pathway of two or additional cell types of organisms for instance, it is applicable to proteins and genes like nucleotide sequences or those of protein sequences which are derived from two or additional homologous genes.
Orthologous genes which result from speciation event as well as paralogue genes which result from the duplication of genes within the population are said to showcase natural divergence. This is attributed to the fact that the paralogous genes are likely to undergo genetic divergence when there are 2 genes within that species.
There are different factors that contribute to genetic divergence and some of these are as highlighted below:
These are genetic changes which occur as a result of two processes which include mutations and sexual recombination. Chromosomes carry genes and each cell body has identical pairs of chromosomes known as diploid state. Sexual production requires gametes pairing from 2 individuals hence each gamete should have one pair of chromosome each known as haploid state.
This is yet another contributor of genetic divergence. Genes are comprised of DNA while DNA is comprised of nucleotides. Whenever there is a change in nucleotides sequence, there is also a change in the DNA and this leads to genes changes.
Other factors that lead to genetic divergence include allopatric speciation, sympatic speciation and natural selection.
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