noun[mass noun] Biology
Variation in the relative frequency of different genotypes in a small population, owing to the chance disappearance of particular genes as individuals die or do not reproduce.
- Rare and endangered species are susceptible to loss of genetic variation through genetic drift in small populations.
- In the absence of selection, these values reflect divergence in allele frequencies due to genetic drift.
- The relative importance of selection and genetic drift in the evolution of duplicated genes is under debate.
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