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Encyclopedia > Ecological genetics

Ecological genetics is the study of genetics (itself a field of biology) from an ecological perspective. While molecular genetics studies the structure and function of genes at a molecular level, ecological genetics (and the related field of population genetics) studies wild populations of organisms.


Although work on natural populations had been done previously, it is acknowledged that the field was founded by the Briton E.B. Ford in the early 20th century. Ecological genetics is the title of his 1964 'magnum opus' on the subject. Other notable ecological geneticists would include Theodosius Dobzhansky's work on Hawaiian fruit flies.


The most famous example of an ecological genetics study is the of the peppered moth, Biston betularia, though there are many others.


Advances in biochemical techniques during the 1980s and 1990s allowed much more data to be derived about the genetic characteristics of natural populations.


See also

References

  • Ford E.B. (1964). Ecological Genetics
  • Cain A.J. and W.B. Provine (1992). Genes and ecology in history. In: R.J. Berry, T.J. Crawford and G.M. Hewitt (eds). Genes in Ecology. Blackwell Scientific: Oxford. (Provides a good historical background)
Subfields of genetics
Classical genetics | Ecological genetics | Molecular genetics | Population genetics | Quantitative genetics
Related topics: Genomics | Reverse genetics
Basic topics in evolutionary biology
Processes of evolution: macroevolution - microevolution - speciation
Mechanisms: selection - genetic drift - gene flow - mutation
Modes: anagenesis - catagenesis - cladogenesis
History: Charles Darwin - The Origin of Species - modern evolutionary synthesis
Subfields: population genetics - ecological genetics - human evolution - molecular evolution - phylogenetics - systematics - evo-devo
List of evolutionary biology topics | Timeline of evolution

  Results from FactBites:
 
Genetics - Facts, Information, and Encyclopedia Reference article (0 words)
The word genetics was first applied to describe the study of inheritance and the science of variation by English scientist William Bateson in a letter to Adam Sedgewick, dated April 18, 1905.
The foundational discipline is population genetics which studies the distribution of and change in allele frequencies of genes under the influence of the four evolutionary forces: natural selection, genetic drift, mutation and migration.
While molecular genetics studies the structure and function of genes at a molecular level, ecological genetics focuses on wild populations of organisms, and attempts to collect data on the ecological aspects of individuals as well as molecular markers from those individuals.
NationMaster - Encyclopedia: Microevolution (1286 words)
Genetic drift is the term used in population genetics to refer to the statistical drift over time of allele frequencies in a finite population due to random sampling effects in the formation of successive generations.
Population genetics is the branch of biology that provides the mathematical structure for the study of the process of microevolution.
Ecological genetics is the study of genetics (itself a field of biology) from an ecological perspective.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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