What is molecular population genetics?
Chapter 1, “Introduction: What is molecular population genetics?,” presents the motivations, applications, and historical context for molecular population genetics as a subdiscipline within biology. It describes how changes to DNA are inextricably woven into thinking about evolution and how molecular population genetics can be used to transport our thinking backward and forward through time. Key classic theoretical ideas summarizing allele frequency change, probability of fixation, and the time to fixation are encapsulated in brief vignettes. Both fundamental and applied uses of molecular population genetic perspectives are summarized in this survey of the historical, conceptual, and empirical development of the branch of science that we call population genetics and its integration with DNA sequences.
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