Genetic Diversity

Genetic Diversity

Genetic Diversity

Biodiversity is a system in constant evolution, from a viewpoint of species, as well as from viewpoint of an individual organism. Genes are the basic building blocks of various life forms. Genetic biodiversity refers to the variation of genes within species. Groups of individual organisms having certain similarities in their physical characteristics arc called species. Human beings genetically belong to the homo sapiens group and also differ in their characteristics such as height, color, physical appearance. etc., considerably. This is due to genetic diversity. This genetic diversity is essential for a healthy breeding population of species.

This diversity of characteristics is necessary for the continued existence of healthy populations in natural communities. When the environment of an area changes, as they do over time, some individuals will have characteristics that suit the new environment. They are more likely to survive and produce offspring that are also suited to the new environment. As a result, the whole inhabitants might change. This is how the procedure of adaptation occurs.

Genetic diversity has the following importance:

(i) It helps in speciation or evolution of new species;

(ii) It is useful in adaptation to changes in environmental conditions;

(iii) It is important for agricultural productivity and development.