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Island Lizards: the genetic-phenetic variation correlation

abstract1 (full description below): Nature 242:190-192.
Island Lizards. PDF/Acrobat file     SoulĂ©, Yang, Weiler and Gorman

NATURAL populations of many organisms are known to contain much more genetic variation than would have been predicted by all but a minority of geneticists two decades ago. Individuals of several species have up to 22% of their loci heterozygous, and from 0-50% or more of the loci in a population are polymorphic, although the higher estimates may result from sampling error"; vertebrates tend to be at the lower end of these ranges. Estimates such as these are based on electrophoretically detectable variation in proteins, so the true levels of genetic variation are probably higher. These generalizations are gaining wide acceptance, but there is still some unease about their accuracy. The fundamental question is whether the loci being sampled are representative of the genome as a whole. We here present evidence that the electrophoretic approach is relatively unbiased.