Q. The “Founder effect” is related to which of the following?

[A] Genetic drift

[B] Glacial lakes

[C] Geographical discoveries

[D] Chemical bonding

Answer: A

Genetic drift can have major effects when a population is sharply reduced in size by a natural disaster (bottleneck effect) or when a small group splits off from the main population to found a colony (founder effect).  

  • The founder effect is another extreme example of drift, one that occurs when a small group of individuals breaks off from a larger population to establish a colony.  
  • The new colony is isolated from the original population, and the founding individuals may not represent the full genetic diversity of the original population.  
  • That is, alleles in the founding population may be present at different frequencies than in the original population, and some alleles may be missing altogether.  
  • The founder effect is similar in concept to the bottleneck effect, but it occurs via a different mechanism (colonization rather than catastrophe). 
  • Genetic studies done on the people of the Lakshadweep archipelago by a team, led by K. Thangaraj at CSIR-Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology (CCMB), for the first time have shown that a majority of human ancestry in Lakshadweep is largely derived from South Asia with minor influences from East and West Eurasia.  
  • And, there was no evidence of early human migration through the Lakshadweep islands. 
  • “We found a strong founder effect for both paternal and maternal lineages — a sign that the island population had limited genetic mixing”, said by scientists. 

Source: The Hindu