Genetic variation generally refers to the differences in genes between individual members of a population, or the frequency in which the various gene types are expressed. Genetic variation is incredibly important for the survival and adaptation of a species, as it helps...
Genetic variation is the result of mutation, gene flow between populations and sexual reproduction. In asexually reproducing organisms, some genetic variation may still result from random mutation.
The two main sources of genetic variation are mutations and recombinations of genes as a result of sexual reproduction. A mutation is a permanent change in the DNA within a gene.
Genetic variation is important because a population has a better chance of surviving and flourishing than a population with limited genetic variation. Genetic diversity also decreases the occurrence of unfavorable inherited traits.
Crossing over creates genetic variation by exchanging DNA between two nonsister chromatids to produce genetically unique chromosomes. The process of crossing over occurs during meiosis.
Genetic variation is important to evolution because it helps to maintain the health of a population by constituting alleles that may be useful in overcoming stresses such as diseases and pests. Without genetic variation, some of the fundamental mechanisms of evolutionar...
Disruptive selection tends to increase genetic variation in populations, according to About.com. It is the opposite of stabilizing selection, which tends to drive a population toward a mean genotype and eliminate outliers on either end of the population average.