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Day 4 – Q 5.What are gene-pool centres? Why is it important to preserve the gene pool? Discuss.

5. What are gene-pool centres? Why is it important to preserve the gene pool? Discuss.     

जीन-पूल केंद्र क्या हैं? जीन पूल को संरक्षित करना क्यों महत्वपूर्ण है? चर्चा करें।

The combination of all the genes present in a given population is called the gene pool of that population. It represents the complete genetic diversity found within a population or species.

Gene pool centres refers to areas on the earth where important crop plants and domestic animals originated. They have an extraordinary range of the wild counterparts of cultivated plant species and useful tropical plants. Gene pool centres also contain different sub-tropical and temperate region species

Major Gene Centres:

1) Mediterranean Gene Centre: Existed around 4000BC

2) South American Gene Centre: Domestication of Plants seems to have taken place around 7000-3000BC

3) South West and Middle East: Evidence show plant domestication to have taken place during 8000-6000 BC

4) African Gene Centre: Primarily around Nile River –Plants and Animals were domesticated around 5000 BC

5) South American and Central American –Developed around 3500 BC

6) Indian Gene centre:

  1.  A) Indus
  2.  B) South Asian: Includes Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Myanmar

7) Central Asian Gene centre: Developed around 4000BC-3000BC

8) East Asia Gene centres: Develop around 6000-5000 BC

Importance of preserving Gene Pool:

  • Gene pool represents the total number of genes found within a population, those populations with larger gene pools tend to have more genes, and hence, more genetic diversity. Each gene has a specific purpose, such as giving the plant/animal a particular characteristic, resistance to a disease, tolerance to harsh climate, and so on. Therefore, a population with a larger genetic diversity will be better prepared to deal with disease outbreaks or extreme environmental changes, because they will, most likely, have those genes that protect them from such adverse changes. On the other hand, populations with a lesser number of genes in their gene pool will be susceptible to such problems, which may cause them to become endangered or even perish altogether, i.e., become extinct. Therefore, populations with a large gene pool will have more chances of survival, while those with small gene pools are in danger of acquiring genetic diseases, deformities, and infertility.
  • FAO estimates that in the last century, about 75 percent of crop genetic diversity was lost as farmers worldwide switched to genetically uniform, high-yielding varieties and abandoned multiple local varieties.

Having recourse to genetic material is however essential to adapt and improve agriculture in the face of threats, such as diseases or warming climate that can alter growing conditions. For example, a variety of Turkish wheat, collected and stored in a seed gene bank in 1948, was rediscovered in the 1980s, when it was found to carry genes resistant to many types of disease-causing fungi. Plant breeders now use those genes to develop wheat varieties that are resistant to a range of diseases.

Medicine: Many medicines are obtained from plants/animal sources like Neem oil, Quinine from Cinchona tress to prevent Malaria.

Thus gene pool conservation is important for sustainable development.

Best Answer: Shravya Byri

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