genetic drift

noun
random changes in the frequency of alleles in a gene pool, usually of small populations.
Compare gene flow.


Origin:
1955–60

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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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American Heritage
Medical Dictionary

genetic drift n.
random fluctuations in the frequency of the appearance of a gene in a small isolated population, presumably owing to chance rather than natural selection. Also called drift.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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American Heritage
Science Dictionary
genetic drift  
Fluctuations in the frequency of a gene in a small isolated population, thought to be due to random chance rather than natural selection.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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American Heritage
Cultural Dictionary

genetic drift definition


A term that describes the random fluctuations in a gene pool over time. In large populations, the effects of genetic drift are negligible. (Compare natural selection.)

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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Example sentences
The culprit is environmental change, not genetic drift in the rice seed itself.
Whereas natural selection tends to weed out harmful mutations in genes and
  their related proteins, genetic drift does not.
Each group or groups would feel selective pressures in different ways and
  genetic drift would occur differently with each group.
In smaller groups, random genetic drift may determine the fate of genes.
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