Genetic isolation and inbreeding

Subject: Genetic isolation and inbreeding
From: "Tony Keene" <>
Date: Mon, 01 Nov 2010 23:10:02 +0100
Hi Andrew,

It's not so much a problem for a lot of other species as they have quite a 
range of genetic diversity within their populations, so you can get to a fairly 
small number of individuals and not end up with them being called Cleetus and 
playing banjoes (what is the plural of banjo?). However, if a species has been 
reduced to a very small number a few times previously, it tends to wipe out 
that diversity - we can see that in humans and domestic cats, both of which 
were probably reduced to around a couple of thousand at a few points in 
history. Even then, with a limited genetic stock (it's often been said that one 
troop of chimpanzees has more diversity within it than the entire human race), 
it would take only 32 individuals (and very careful management of who was 
breeding with who for a few generations) to ensure that serious genetic 
problems don't occur.
However, I don't know the background of the species you mention, so I couldn't 
help on that...


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