Drift causing biodiversity

Written by maheen Anwar

Before we start our discussion about our topic, Let us recall the definition of Biodiversity:

“Biodiversity is the variation among the living beings from all the sources including terrestrial, marine and other aquatic ecosystems and ecological complexes of which they are a part, which have the diversity within species, between species and of ecosystems”.

According to discussion genetic biodiversity can be defined as;

“Genetic diversity is the, variations within the genes which encode for proteins and help the organisms to survive in its habitat”.

DNA structure

To understand the contribution of genes in biodiversity we need to study the structure of DNA.

De-ox ribonucleic acid is composed of stings of amino acids which encodes proteins respectively.

DNA is the main causative agent of genetic variation.

Our genomes have coding and non coding portions,

The coding functional part codes the proteins and expresses the relative phenotype,

In case of nonfunctional part of genome it is indirectly involved in expression of genes.

This non coding part of genome has great importance in field of research because this is how the genes mutate and diversity occurs among the species.

The basic point is that it has two specifications which make nonfunctional part worth mentioning.

  1. Non Functional part has “jumping genes” which are called transposons they cause mutation.
  2. Secondly they have repeating units which cause variation in genotype of species
  • Microsatellites (5 to 7 repeated units )
  • Macro satellites (9 to about 50 units)

Genetic variation in Whales

The ANTARCTIC BLUE WHALES are the species that have high level of genetic diversity, as being an endangered species.

The scientists have estimated that entire population of Blue Whales has approximately 2,000 members.

Their DNA analysis on tissues that has been taken from hundred of whales showed high level of genetic diversity having long life spans, which give them ability to reproduce and avoid extinction of their species.


The transposons play an important role in variation by changing their loci and cause variation which help the organism to adapt to cope with the environmental change and survive successfully in their ecosystem.


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Talebi, S. M., Atri, M., Sheidai, M., Sharifnia, F., & Noormohammadi, Z. (2014).

Intraspecific variations in Linum album based on the Determination of Special Stations approach in Iran. Phytologia Balcanica: International Journal of Balkan Flora and Vegetation20(1), 9-22.

Sim-Sim, M., Lopes, T., Ruas, S., & Stech, M. (2015). Does altitude shape molecular diversity and richness of bryophytes in Madeira’s natural forest? A case study with four bryophyte species at two altitudinal levels. Plant Ecology and Evolution148(2), 171-180.



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maheen Anwar

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