Genetic flexibility

A genetically diverse population has genetic flexibility in the sense that it can respond to selection pressures. For example, if a host population has too little horizontal resistance, it will gain resistance. This happens because resistant individuals, being less parasitised, have a reproductive advantage over susceptible individuals that are more heavily parasitised. Both the proportion of resistant individuals, and the levels of resistance (see transgressive segregation), will be increased accordingly in the next generation. See also: Genetic inflexibility. Genetic homeostasis

The tendency of a population to maintain a genetic composition that provides an optimum balance with its environment. See also: Homeostasis. Genetic inflexibility

Most modern cultivars are either pure lines or clones, and they are genetically inflexible in the sense that they do not respond to selection pressures during cultivation. This is a valuable characteristic because it ensures that useful agricultural properties are not lost. See also: Genetic flexibility.

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