Difference Between Gene Flow and Genetic Drift

Main Difference – Gene Flow vs Genetic Drift

Gene flow and genetic drift are two processes that decrease the genetic variation within a population. however, both gene run and genetic drift have longer term influences on evolution. The main difference between gene run and genetic drift is that gene flow refers to the transfer of genes between populations whereas genetic drift is the variation of allele frequencies in small populations, allowing the disappearance of alleles from the population. Gene menstruate allows the combination of gene pools of two populations. however, gene menstruate allows the origin of new species by the gene transfer. Since genetic drift is a natural summons, it is besides called the random roll. familial drift occurs through founder consequence and bottlenecks .

Key Areas Covered

1. What is Gene Flow
– Definition, Features, Role
2. What is Genetic Drift
– Definition, Features, Role
3. What are the Similarities Between Gene Flow and Genetic Drift
– Outline of Common Features
4. What is the Difference Between Gene Flow and Genetic Drift
– Comparison of Key Differences
Key Terms: Antigenic Shift, Bottlenecks, Founder Effect, Gene Flow. Genetic Drift, Gene Migration, Gene Transfer, Horizontal Gene Transfer, Random Drift, Reassortment, SpeciesDifference Between Gene Flow and Genetic Drift - Comparison Summary

What is Gene Flow

The gene menstruation refers to the remove of genes or alleles from one population to another population. The gene run is besides called gene migration. Gene menstruate into or out of a population affects the allele frequency of the population. The mobility of individuals is the major cause of gene menstruation from one population to another population. The greater the mobility of individuals, greater the gene flow. Animals are more fluid than plants. Seeds and pollen grains can be transported for great distances with the aid of wind instrument and animals. Gene flow between two populations allows the populations to combine their gene pools with each other. This may reduce the genetic variation between the two populations. consequently, gene flow reduces the leaning of speciation. This means gene flow repairs the developing differences, which may lead to producing a daughter species from the existing species. physical barriers such as impassable mountain ranges, huge deserts, oceans, and man-made barriers may obstruct the gene flow .
Main Difference - Gene Flow vs  Genetic Drift Gene flow can occur between species through hybridization or gene transfer equally well. Gene transfer refers to the apparent motion of genetic corporeal across species. It includes horizontal gene transfer, reassortment, and antigenic shift. Both bacteria and viruses chiefly undergo gene transfer. Horizontal gene transfer is the transfer of genic material between unicellular organisms and/or multicellular organisms. Reassortment is the recombination of genic material of different virus species through the chromosomal crossing over. In antigenic shift, two or more virus species combine and form a subtype with a concoction of coat antigens from each combined species. The gene flow is shown in figure 1 .

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What is Genetic Drift

genetic drift is the variation of the proportional genotypical frequencies in a modest population, allowing the fade of detail genes due to the death of individuals or incapability to reproduce. genetic stray is besides called random drift since it is a natural process. familial roll can occur in two ways : founder effect and bottlenecks. The recurrence of belittled population sizes causes the founder effect. A austere reduction of the size of a population is called bottlenecks. Since a new population starts from a little numeral of individuals, alleles or genotypes of the modern population become fixed. therefore, inbreeding coefficient equally well as homozygosity of the population increase as a result of allele obsession. The familial drift can be seen in populations that undergo regular extinction followed by the recolonization. The effective population size ( Ne ) determines the order of magnitude of the genetic drift. The Ne can besides be defined as the number of inbreeding individuals in a population. Ne is used to calculate the total of genetic drift expected in a finical population. The gamble of an allele to be fixed in a population depends on Ne and the frequency of distribution of that particular allele within the population. If the frequency of a particular allele is low in a population, the chance of that allele melt from that population is gamey. only the alleles with high frequencies within a population are fixed through genetic drift. This shows that genetic drift is involved in reducing the familial diversity of the population .
Difference Between Gene Flow and Genetic Drift however, genetic freewheel has farseeing term evolutionary consequences. accumulation of non-adaptive mutations facilitates the population branch or speciation. On the other bridge player, once the allele obsession occurs in different populations independently, the likelihood of mating between different populations of the lapp species can be reduced. This allows the emergence of newly species. The genetic drift in a rabbit population is shown in digit 2 .

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Similarities Between Gene Flow and Genetic Drift

  • Both gene flow and genetic drift are involved in reducing the genetic diversity within a population.
  • However, both gene flow and genetic drift have long term influences on evolution as well through speciation.

Difference Between Gene Flow and Genetic Drift


Gene Flow: Gene flow refers to the transfer of genes or alleles from one population to another population .
Genetic Drift: Genetic freewheel refers to the variation of the relative genotypical frequencies in a small population, allowing the disappearance of particular genes due to death of individuals or incapability to reproduce .


Gene Flow: Gene flow allows the alleles to move from one population to the other.

Genetic Drift: Genetic drift is the changes in allele frequencies in a minor population .

Works on

Gene Flow: Gene menstruate works on more than one populations at once .
Genetic Drift: Genetic drift works on small populations .

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Contribution to Speciation

Gene Flow: Gene transfer, which is a process of gene menstruation between species, allows the initiation of new species .
Genetic Drift: The collection of non-adaptive mutations and allele obsession facilitates speciation .


Gene Flow: The exile of pollen for big distances and the match of Europeans and native Americans, which results in offspring with mix features are examples of gene flow .
Genetic Drift: The random deaths of green beetles, leaving brown beetles alive is an case of genic drift .


Gene flow and familial float are two events that reduce the genetic diversity of a population. Gene flow is the transfer of genes from one population to the other. Gene transfer is the gene flow between two different species. Gene remove allows the emergence of a new species. familial freewheel is the variation of allele frequencies of a belittled population. genetic drift allows alleles with high gear frequencies to become outstanding within a population. The chief difference between gene stream and familial stray is the effect of each event on the alleles of a population.


1. Rodriguez, Tommy. “ Gene Flow. ” Darwin was Right. N.p., n.d. Web. Available here. 30 July 2017.
2. “ Genetic Drift. ” APSnet. N.p., n.d. Web. Available here. 31 July 2017 .

Image Courtesy:

1. “ familial stray in a population Figure 19 02 02 ” By OpenStax, Rice University – Textbook capacity produced by OpenStax, Rice University. ( CC BY 4.0 ) via Commons Wikimedia
2. “ Gene flow ” By Tsaneda – Gene_flow.jpg at wikieducator ( CC BY 3.0 ) via Commons Wikimedia