All of the genes and their various alleles, that occur in all the members of a particular species or population of species at any given moment. For a species to be vigorous and survive, the gene pool must be large enough for natural variation to take place through cross-fertilization. A large population does not necessarily imply a large gene pool, however. For example, there is concern about the viability of some sizeable populations of cheetahs which, despite their numbers, have insufficient variation in the gene pool.
Related categories• ECOLOGY
• GENETICS AND HEREDITY
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