Book Review - Genetics, Speciation and the Founder Principle

Josh Hayes josh at
Wed Sep 1 11:35:33 EST 1993

I'll take a stab at defining "founder effect".

New populations are often "founded" by a very small initial
population. Consequently, the genetic variation within the
new population depends strongly on the genetic variation present
in the founding individuals - and this may be substantially
different from the characteristic variation in the source

The upshot is, new populations that are reproductively
isolated from source populations (i.e. no gene flow) can
rapidly diverge from that source population.

Hope this helps (and that it's not blatantly wrong!),

   Josh Hayes, Quantitative Sciences HR-20 U of Washington
    josh at             206 543-5004
           You'll see my teeth in the stars above

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