Posts Tagged ‘genetic drift’

Mitochondria DNA (mtDNA)

A founder effect occurs when a new colony is established by few members of an original population. The small original population reduces the genetic variation from the original population, resulting in a non-random sample of genes. The founder effect has been seen in several human populations. The Afrikaner population in South Africa, derived from Dutch decendants, experienced a founder effect when it’s population developed a high prevelance for Pseudoxanthoma elasticum, or PXE.

Similarly, the Amish population in the United States often features founder effects due to the lack of recruiting outside members, as many Amish people only marry within the community. Also, Icelanders have been an example of the founder effect. PloS Genetics claimed that genetic drift is the cause of the lack of mtDNA (mitochondrial DNA) halotype derivation within the Iceland population.

So, does Venice, Italy, experience this founder effect? While the effect has been found prevelent in the Sicilian population in the form of Glycogen storage disease type II, there is no evidence that suggests that the founder’s effect is prevelant within the Venetian community. Perhaps Venice dodged the founder effect bullet because of the prevelance of crazed tourists. The shrinking population, or emigration from Venice, from the past half century may have also aided in Venice’s ability to dodge the founder effect.

Geographic Map Of Sicily

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