Detecting Microevolutionary Change

We’ve defined microevolution as a change in gene frequency in a population and a population as a group of organisms that share a common gene pool—like all the individuals of one beetle species living on a particular mountaintop.

Imagine that you go to the mountaintop this year, sample these beetles, and determine that 80% of the genes in the population are for green coloration and 20% of them are for brown coloration. You go back the next year, repeat the procedure, and find a new ratio: 60% green genes to 40% brown genes.

You have detected a microevolutionary pattern: a change in gene frequency. A change in gene frequency over time means that the population has evolved.

The big question is, how did it happen?

Teach this!
Lesson plans for teaching about gene frequency

Next Section:
Mechanisms of Microevolution


Search · Site Index · Navigation · Copyright · Credits · Contact
Understanding Evolution For Teachers Home · Understanding Evolution Home

Read how others have recognized the Understanding Evolution website

Spanish translation of Understanding Evolution For Teachers from the Spanish Society of Evolutionary Biology.