gene pool

noun

Definition of gene pool 

: the collection of genes in an interbreeding population that includes each gene at a certain frequency in relation to its alleles : the genetic information of a population of interbreeding organisms the human gene pool

Examples of gene pool in a Sentence

the gene pool of a species

Recent Examples on the Web

In the 1970s and 80s, theme parks like Sea World captured nearly 4 dozen orcas from the region, possibly shrinking the pods’ gene pool. New York Times, "Orcas of the Pacific Northwest Are Starving and Disappearing," 9 July 2018 Genetic tests also show that new generations of sea stars have more in common with the survivors than with past generations — the events of 2013 seem to have left an indelible mark on the sea star’s gene pool. Veronique Greenwood, New York Times, "Sea Stars Started Dissolving. What Helped Some of Them Survive?," 18 June 2018 This suggests that the protection of koalas in the north is of primary importance in order to maintain a robust gene pool, the authors said. Deborah Netburn, latimes.com, "The koalas are threatened. Can their genome help us save them?," 2 July 2018 Meanwhile coyotes would breed with red wolves, creating hybrids that watered down the gene pool. Robbie George, National Geographic, "Rule to Allow Hunting Could Doom Rare Red Wolves," 29 June 2018 Due to the smaller gene pool, such inbreeding typically leads to higher rates of recessive disorders, translating into higher death rates and poorer overall health. Deutsche Welle, USA TODAY, "Northern white rhino could be saved from extinction using embryos," 5 July 2018 But shallow gene pools don’t necessarily spell doom for a species. Robbie George, National Geographic, "Rule to Allow Hunting Could Doom Rare Red Wolves," 29 June 2018 The Cuban croc is endangered, not only due to shrinking habitat, but also to hybridization as its gene pool gets polluted by natural encounters with the bigger, shyer American crocodile. Krista Stevens, Longreads, "On Saving the Cuban Crocodile from American Invasion," 22 June 2018 Comparatively recent migration by Scandinavians—particularly those from Denmark—likely has also shifted Iceland’s gene pool, the authors note. Michael Price, Science | AAAS, "Iceland’s founding fathers underwent a rapid, 1000-year genetic shift," 31 May 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'gene pool.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of gene pool

1941, in the meaning defined above

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Last Updated

13 Nov 2018

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The first known use of gene pool was in 1941

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More Definitions for gene pool

gene pool

noun

English Language Learners Definition of gene pool

biology : all of the genes in a particular group of people or animals

gene pool

noun

Medical Definition of gene pool 

: the collection of genes in an interbreeding population that includes each gene at a certain frequency in relation to its alleles : the genetic information of a population of interbreeding organisms the human gene pool

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