Genetic variation

Genetic variation describes the genotypic and phenotypic differences between individuals in a population, and between populations. This variation arises through genetic mutation and is important as it provides the diversity within and between populations required for natural selection.

Latest Research and Reviews

News and Comment

  • Research Highlights |

    A new study in Science uses chromatin accessibility profiles to reveal gene regulatory alterations associated with genetic variants in neuropsychiatric disease.

    • Darren J. Burgess
  • Research Highlights |

    A study in PNAS describes a maternal-effect killer supergene that regulates social behaviour in Alpine silver ants. Queens carrying the ‘killer’ haplotype fail to produce live progeny homozygous for the alternative haplotype, ensuring all colonies adopt a multiple-queen, rather than single-queen, social structure.

    • Dorothy Clyde
  • Research Highlights |

    A study in Nature analysing genome-wide variation in individuals from islands across Polynesia reports evidence of admixture with Native Americans related to Indigenous inhabitants of northern South America.

    • Linda Koch
  • Research Highlights |

    Structural variants have proved difficult to characterize using traditional sequencing approaches. In two new studies in Cell, the authors demonstrate the use of pan-genome approaches to identify and explore the impact of structural variants in crop genomes and reveal variants linked to specific agronomic traits.

    • Joseph Willson
  • Research Highlights |

    Ostendorf et al. show that germline variants of human APOE play a role in melanoma that is opposite to that in Alzheimer disease, with APOE4 carrier status being associated with reduced melanoma growth in mice and improved outcome in patients with advanced melanoma.

    • Ulrike Harjes