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Genetic drift

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Genetic drift is a mechanism of evolution. It refers to random fluctuations in the frequencies of alleles from generation to generation due to chance events. Genetic drift can cause traits to be dominant or disappear from a population. The effects of genetic drift are most pronounced in small populations.

The term founder effect is also used. Many people regard the two terms as synonymous.

Further reading

Scientific papers

See also


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This article uses material in the public domain from the Talking Glossary of Genetic Terms and is reproduced courtesy of the National Human Genome Research Institute.