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Genetic Diversity Assignment Help

One of the most important results of meiosis (as opposed to mitosis) is genetic diversity.  Therefore, read this very short article about what can happen when there is no genetic diversity: Genetic Diversity Article.  Monoculture (relying on one variety of crop or breed of animal) is very common in modern agriculture, but now there is also recognition that saving seeds from heirloom varieties of plants and massive international seed banks are necessary, and there is even an International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resource for Food and Agriculture to protect plant genetic diversity.  Watch this 2-minute Seed Vault Video.  Similar banking is also being done with animals (frozen semen, eggs, embryos).  Summarize and give your opinion.

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Genetic diversity- significance

Genetic Diversity is the difference in the genetic composition within a species.  It is essential for the species as a whole to withstand any unfavorable condition that may arise suddenly. A good example would be Irish potato Solanum tuberosum is also called lumper. Ireland is heavily dependent on the potato for its food requirement. These Irish potatoes are genetically identical. During 1800s the Great Irish famine occurred by a single pathogen called Phytoptherainfestans. The potatoes had identical DNA and it was easy for the pathogen to spread easily causing devastation of the entire crop. The presence of genetic diversity offer an opportunity to discourage the spread of the pathogen as some of the genetically different plant might be resistant to the pathogen and thus are not affected by it.

Monoculture of Banana:

The current day banana is a good example of natural mutation. Bananas Musa acuminatais the oldest variety known to the mankind. In the region of the Jamaica the mutant banana which is yellow in color different from its native red and green color outer covering tasted sweet and was cultivated. The older variety of bananas were highly susceptible to the panama disease whereas the mutant ones are resistant. These mutant bananas are replicated and hence all the plants obtained are identical in term of their genetic composition. This type of culture is termed as monoculture. Though this process is quick and efficient it has a downside to it, any pathogen capable of infecting and damaging the crops will cause an extinction as all the plants share the same DNA.

Global seed vault:

Global seed vault is a storage system for all the varieties of plants that carry agricultural, medicinal and horticultural significance. This vault is situated in the arctic circle and between Norway and North pole. Every day the Earth faces numerous challenges such as storms, cyclones, meteors and many other natural disasters with the ever-changing climatic conditions the crops are highly susceptible. To withstand these events the seed vault holds the stocks of the seeds packed under freezing conditions owing to the natural climate of the region. The Svalbard is the ideal place for the seed storage as the humidity is less, it is situated on the top of a mountain and is heavily protected from the possible sea level rise in the near future. Currently a total of 9,80,000 samples are stored. 

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