Thursday, July 4, 2013

Population Genetics

Population Genetics is concerned with the determination of the genetic structure of human population and the analysis of the factors that maintain or alter their genetic structure.The web of genetic relationships among allele frequencies,consanguinity,matting patterns,gene flow  and natural selection are all significant in the study of population.

A human population is found generally in a particular place and is a coherent entity mainly because it is geographically bounded.Further human populations are also defined by other important factors such as economic and even psychological boundaries.


The genetic approach to human population generally uses the concept of Mendelian population which is defined by Theodosius Dobzhansky as follows : A reproductive community of sexual and cross fertilizing individuals which share in a common gene pool. Each Mendelian population may contain several other smaller Mendelian populations within it.The largest Mendelian population is a species because species do not share the same gene pool.They are distinct and are closed genetic systems.

On of the important characteristics of a Mendelian population is that it is a breeding isolate.A breeding isolate i a small or larger population in which its members find their mates within the group itself.This may be due to several factors  such as geographical ,social ,cultural,linguistic,religious and even psychological.As a consequence of prolonged breeding isolation differences in the genetic make up between different groups of human populations develop.There are differences in gene frequencies between one population and the other.

The determination of gene frequencies depends on sampling,counting and statistical manipulation of numbers.The estimation of gene frequencies is based on Mendel's two principles and on the equilibrium law that describes population gene frequencies under certain conditions.

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