Re: NANFA-- RE: Great debate

Dave Neely (
Fri, 05 Nov 1999 17:26:00 CST


>If ten separately raised groups of guppie were maintained by ten >different
>aquarists, be they scientist or not, with no interbreeding >with groups
>from another locale, and if their natural habitat were >restored, would
>they revert to the original wild-stock form >eventually? They still carry
>the same genes and even though they >were captively maintained in a pure
>form, wouldn't the stock have >the same DNA regardless?

Depends on how many guppies you are maintaining, and what the original
pattern of variation is like. To reduce the effects of genetic drift (by
which alleles-various attributes coded by a gene- are lost just due to
random chance alone), you'd have to keep a pretty sizeable number of guppies
(at least 500, and a couple of orders of magnitude above that would be
preferable). If genes necessary for survival in the wild are lost to drift,
then no, they're just gone and you'll just have to wait around for however
many 1000s or 1000000s of years required for favorable mutations to accrue.
Problem is, the fish are going to have a tough time during that period...


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