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Genetically Diverse Species

The most Genetically diverse species is a mushroom that lives on decayed wood. The lowest Genetically diversity species is lynx. One of the advantages of being a high genetic diversity is it allows organisms to adapt to changes in their environment.

Asher Cutter, a professor in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of Toronto said that Genetically diversity is a measure of how often two bits of DNA from the same genomic location differ from one another within a population. DNA is made up of bases which are represented by the letters A, T, C and G along with the backbones are known as nucleotides.

Genetically diversity can be expressed as nucleotide diversity or the percentage of positions within the genome where two individuals of a given species are expected to have different DNA bases.According to the study published the Schizophyllum commune has a nucleotide diversity of up to 20%. That is the greatest genetic diversity species reported for any eukaryote, or organism whose cells have a nucleus. Two different mushrooms will have different DNA bases at about 20 out of every 100 positions in their genomes.

A study by Cutter and colleagues published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences in 2013 noted that the previous record holder is the roundworm Caenorhabditis brenneri, which has been reported to have a nucleotide diversity of 14.1%.Cutler added that these species are considered to be genetically hyperdiverse, defined as having a nucleotide diversity greater than 5%. Most plants and animals have nucleotide diversities below that value. For comparison’s sake, humans have a nucleotide diversity of about 0.1%.

Genetically diversity arises through mutation so the higher the mutation rate and the more mutations a species acquires, the greater its genetic diversity will be. The larger the population, the more copies of a genome are available to accumulate the mutations that create genetic diversity. The smaller the population, the lower the Genetically diversity is apt to be.

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