Advertisement

Population bottleneck

From Academic Kids

A population bottleneck (or genetic bottleneck) is an evolutionary event in which a significant percentage of a population or species is killed or otherwise prevented from reproducing, and the population is reduced by 50% or more, often by several orders of magnitude. A graph of this change resembles the neck of a bottle, from wide to narrow; hence the name.

Population bottlenecks increase genetic drift, as the rate of drift is inversely proportional to the population size. It also changes the relationship of natural selection (see: inbreeding).

Contents

Humans

DNA evidence suggests that humans today are a legacy of a population bottleneck which occurred 70,000 years ago. This would have had the result of limiting the overall level of genetic diversity in the human species, possibly by a large amount. The evidence that all living humans are descended from fewer than ten thousand people alive at that time comes both from mitochondrial DNA coalescence, and the relatively small variations in the human Y chromosome.

One theory about this bottleneck is the Toba catastrophe theory, positing that the human population was reduced to a few thousand individuals when the Toba supervolcano in Indonesia erupted and triggered a massive environmental change.

In 2000, a Molecular Biology and Evolution paper suggested a transplanting model or a 'long bottleneck' to account for the limited genetic variation, rather than a catastrophic environmental change. (See "Population Bottlenecks and Pleistocene Human Evolution (http://mbe.oupjournals.org/cgi/content/full/17/1/2)".)

Examples in the animal world

YearEstimated bison
population size
Before 1492   60,000,000
1890   750
2000   3,600

Wisent, also called European bison, faced extinction in the early 20th century. The 3600 animals living in 2000 are all descended from 12 individuals and only two distinct Y chromosomes are left in the species. The population of American Bison fell due to overhunting, nearly leading to extinction around the year 1890 and has since begun to recover.

A classic example of a population bottleneck is that of the northern elephant seals, whose population fell to about 30 in the 1890's although it now numbers in the tens of thousands. Also, all existing cheetahs are extremely close genetically suggesting an extreme population bottleneck in the past. Another largely bottlenecked species is the Golden hamster, for which the vast majority are descended from a single litter found in the Syrian desert around 1930.

Sometimes further deductions can be inferred from an observed population bottleneck. Among the Galapagos archipelago's giant tortoises (themselves a prime example of a founder effect), the comparatively large population on the slopes of Alcedo volcano is significantly less diverse than four other tortoise populations on the same island. Researchers' DNA analysis dates the bottleneck around 88,000 years before present (YBP), according to a notice in Science, October 3, 2003. About 100,000 YBP the volcano erupted violently, burying much of the tortoise habitat deep in pumice and ash. The coincidence is suggestive.

See also

External links

Topics in population genetics
Key concepts: Hardy-Weinberg law | Fisher's fundamental theorem | neutral theory
Selection: natural | sexual | artificial | ecological
Genetic drift: small population size | population bottleneck | founder effect
Founders: Ronald Fisher | J.B.S. Haldane | Sewall Wright
Related topics: evolution | microevolution | evolutionary game theory | fitness landscape
List of evolutionary biology topics
de:Genetischer Flaschenhals

cs:Efekt hrdla lahve

Navigation

Academic Kids Menu

  • Art and Cultures
    • Art (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Art)
    • Architecture (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Architecture)
    • Cultures (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Cultures)
    • Music (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Music)
    • Musical Instruments (http://academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/List_of_musical_instruments)
  • Biographies (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Biographies)
  • Clipart (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Clipart)
  • Geography (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Geography)
    • Countries of the World (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Countries)
    • Maps (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Maps)
    • Flags (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Flags)
    • Continents (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Continents)
  • History (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/History)
    • Ancient Civilizations (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Ancient_Civilizations)
    • Industrial Revolution (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Industrial_Revolution)
    • Middle Ages (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Middle_Ages)
    • Prehistory (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Prehistory)
    • Renaissance (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Renaissance)
    • Timelines (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Timelines)
    • United States (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/United_States)
    • Wars (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Wars)
    • World History (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/History_of_the_world)
  • Human Body (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Human_Body)
  • Mathematics (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Mathematics)
  • Reference (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Reference)
  • Science (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Science)
    • Animals (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Animals)
    • Aviation (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Aviation)
    • Dinosaurs (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Dinosaurs)
    • Earth (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Earth)
    • Inventions (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Inventions)
    • Physical Science (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Physical_Science)
    • Plants (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Plants)
    • Scientists (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Scientists)
  • Social Studies (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Social_Studies)
    • Anthropology (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Anthropology)
    • Economics (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Economics)
    • Government (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Government)
    • Religion (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Religion)
    • Holidays (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Holidays)
  • Space and Astronomy
    • Solar System (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Solar_System)
    • Planets (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Planets)
  • Sports (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Sports)
  • Timelines (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Timelines)
  • Weather (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Weather)
  • US States (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/US_States)

Information

  • Home Page (http://academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php)
  • Contact Us (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Contactus)

  • Clip Art (http://classroomclipart.com)
Toolbox
Personal tools