Definitions

gene pool

gene pool

gene pool, the total of all genes in a population of a particular species. See genetics.
In population genetics, a gene pool is the complete set of unique alleles in a species or population.

Description

A large gene pool indicates extensive genetic diversity, which is associated with robust populations that can survive bouts of intense selection. Meanwhile, low genetic diversity (see inbreeding and population bottlenecks) can cause reduced biological fitness and an increased chance of extinction.

When all individuals in a population are identical with regard to a particular phenotypic trait they are known as monomorphic. When the individuals show several variants of a particular trait they are said to be polymorphic.

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