founder effect


: the effect on the resulting gene pool that occurs when a new isolated population is founded by a small number of individuals possessing limited genetic variation relative to the larger population from which they have migrated

Examples of founder effect in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The common mutation implied that all the Laron patients were probably descended from a single individual, a phenomenon known in genetics as a founder effect. Gary Taubes, Discover Magazine, 26 Mar. 2013 Most notable of these assumptions is that the serial founder effect model is the only explanation available. Razib Khan, Discover Magazine, 19 Apr. 2011 The Kuusamo cluster could for example just be due to a founder effect from its recent settlement. Razib Khan, Discover Magazine, 23 Sep. 2010 That could be a founder effect, in which the initial group included fewer fertile males than females. Ann Gibbons, Science | AAAS, 16 June 2021

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'founder effect.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1970, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of founder effect was in 1970

Dictionary Entries Near founder effect

Cite this Entry

“Founder effect.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 12 Apr. 2024.

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