Genetic drift occurs when one characteristic or trait becomes more common in a population. This may be attributed to the random chance. This clearly means that it is not because it is advantageous or non-advantageous. Parisod at el., argue that “Genetic drift affects the allele frequency of finite populations; especially those that passed through a bottleneck or that has been founded by only a few individuals” (Parisod at el., 2005). This is a clear indication that genetic population can cause a lot of damages, especially to alleles. Thus, the main types of genetic drift include population bottlenecks and founder effects. Both have a different characteristic that are associated. The paper thus seeks to expound on both types of genetic drift. Popular examples across the globe will be used.
A population bottleneck is an occurrence that happens when a large number of species is destroyed. The remaining species of this kind will be forced to reproduce. As a result, the offspring will develop characteristics similar to the living species. Hence, the traits of the destroyed species will be lost. One of the most notable examples of a population bottleneck is the northern elephant seals. These Elephants have substantially reduced genetic variation. This is attributed to the human acts such as poaching and hunting. Such acts greatly reduced the elephant population in the early nineteen century. However, the population of the elephants has substantially developed since then (Hallatschek at el., 2007). It is also worth noting that their current traits still depict bottleneck. They differ from genetic variation when compared to the southern seal elephants that were less hunted.
On the other hand, a founder effect is an event whereby a new colony of species is started from the few members of the original population. The offspring will all develop the characteristics of the original species. There are some basic characteristics of the small population. One is that it may have reduced genetic variation. This is when compared to the original species (Hallatschek at el., 2007). Secondly, the small population may have a non-random number of genes in the original species.
However, a very good example of founder effect is the Afrikaner population of Dutch settlers in South Africa. This population might have developed from the colonist. Presently, research reveals that the number of Afrikaner as substantially increased. In addition to the above, they contain a gene that causes Huntington’s disease. The main reason for this is that the original Dutch population carried the gene that causes this disease. This is a clear indication that this effect can easily be recognized. This is because the newly started population will develop or portray the same genes as the founder species (Parisod at el., 2005).
In brief, there is one example that combines both bottleneck and founder effect. This is Tristan da Cunha. This was founded as a religious colony in the eighteenth century. Initially, it had only twenty members. However, in the in the nineteenth century, the population had substantially increased. In some period, their boat capsized. This led to the death of several males in the colony. As a result of the death, several women and children left the colony. Thus, this led to the gradual drop in the population. In addition to the above, there is a situation whereby their popular leader died. This is another example of bottleneck event. As a result of the death, the leader was replaced. On the contrary, several members of the colony didn’t like. They also left leading to population drop. Conclusively, these are the best description and examples of both bottleneck and founder effect.