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genetic drift

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noun
random changes in the frequency of alleles in a gene pool, usually of small populations.

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Compare gene flow.

Origin of genetic drift

First recorded in 1955–60
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use genetic drift in a sentence

Scientific definitions for genetic drift

genetic drift

Variation in the frequency of a gene in a small isolated population, thought to be due to random chance rather than natural selection.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Cultural definitions for genetic drift

genetic drift

A term that describes the random fluctuations in a gene pool over time. In large populations, the effects of genetic drift are negligible. (Compare natural selection.)

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
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