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What is biodiversity? Explain genetic diversity with suitable example.

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1. Biodiversity is the part of nature which includes the differences in the genes among the individuals of a species; the variety and richness of all plants and animal species at different scales in a space – local regions, country and the world; and the types of ecosystem, both terrestrial and aquatic, within a defined area.

2. Genetic diversity: Genetic diversity is the intraspecific diversity in the number and types of genes and chromosomes present in different species.

  • It also includes variation in the genes and their alleles in the same species. Variation within a population and diversity between populations that are associated with adaptation to local conditions. 
  • Genetic diversity or variability is essential for a healthy breeding population of a species. 
  • Genetic variations are changes in the allelic genes which lead to individual differences within species. 
  • Such variations help in the evolution. The chances of continuation of species in the changing environmental conditions are caused due to such variation and it allows the best organisms to get adapted to survive Races and subspecies are formed due to genetic diversity. 
  • Examples of genetic diversity : 

(a) There are 1000 varieties of mangoes and 50.000 varieties of rice or wheat in India, 

(b) Rauwolfia vomitoria is a medicinal plant that secretes reserpine. 

  • This plant is inhabitant of different Himalayan ranges. There is variations in terms of potency and concentration of reserpine, from different locations.

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