Polymorphisms: Origins and Maintenance
Published Online: 30 APR 2008
Copyright © 2001 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. All rights reserved.
How to Cite
Weiss, K. M. 2008. Polymorphisms: Origins and Maintenance. eLS.
- Published Online: 30 APR 2008
Polymorphism is variation in specific locations in the deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) sequence. Some authors use the term only for variant alleles with at least 1% frequency in a population. This shows the population dependence of the concept itself. Variation arises initially by some form of mutation in a single individual but, because DNA is transmitted from parent to offspring, over time the frequency and geographical distribution of a genetic variant is essentially a population concept that depends on history.
- single nucleotide polymorphism;
- population genetics