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Hardy-Weinberg Equilibrium

Author(s): Lou Gross1, Monica Beals1, Susan Harrell1

University of Tennessee Knoxville

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This module introduces the Hardy-Weinberg model in the context of understanding the population's genotype and allele frequencies. It is intended for an introductory biology audience.

Licensed under CC Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International according to these terms

Version 1.0 - published on 15 Feb 2019 doi:10.25334/Q41M98 - cite this


This activity maps to the OpenStax biology textbook, 19.1 Population Evolution

Student Introduction: The Hardy-Weinberg model, named after the two scientists that derived it in the early part of this century, describes and predicts genotype and allele frequencies in a non-evolving population. The model has five basic assumptions: 1) the population is large (i.e., there is no genetic drift); 2) there is no gene flow between populations, from migration or transfer of gametes; 3) mutations are negligible; 4) individuals are mating randomly; and 5) natural selection is not operating on the population. Given these assumptions, a population's genotype and allele frequencies will remain unchanged over successive generations, and the population is said to be in Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium. The Hardy-Weinberg model can also be applied to the genotype frequency of a single gene.

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