3+ Genetic Diversity Types: How To Increase Genetic Variation

Genetic diversity gnerally takes place in three ways.

In nature genetic diversity occurs in three ways. Mainly by recombination of genes, mutations in genes and immigration of genes.

Genetic diversity types:

Single nucleotide change or substitution:

Single nucleotide substitution means change in the nucleotide sequence in the gene. This is also known as gene mutation. A single nucleotide is replaced with another nucleotide or it is deleted.

Insertion or Deletion:

It involves the insertion or deletion of the one or more nucleotides of a cistron changes the reading of the frame of base sequence and causes frame shift or gibberish mutation.

Structural variation:

Structural variation referred as a region of DNA nearly 1 Kb and larger in size and can include inversions and balanced translocations or genomic imbalances, commonly referred to as copy number variants.

Structural variation means chromosomal structure. Structural variation involves the deletion, insertion, duplications, inversions and translocations in genes.

Genetic diversity in plants:

Genetic diversity in plants aids the plants in the development of survival conditions for various environmental changes.

It also helps in the increase of yield, improves disease resistance, many genetically improved plants can produce targeted products like vitamins, nutrients which are helpful for the humans.

Stress resistance crops and drought resistance crop can be produced.

For example genetically improved Rice variety like golden rice is very beneficial for humans.

In golden rice Beta carotene is produced by introducing the beta carotene gene in rice plant.

Beta carotene is a source of vitamin A, when it is consumed by humans it is converted into vitamin A.

Not only golden rice but also many types of genetically modified plants are being cultivated now a days to attain the target of necessity.

genetic diversity types
Image Credit: Golden Rice Wikipedia

Genetic diversity in animals:

In animals genetic diversity is a pivotal process for improving the survival conditions in accordance with environmental changes, it also helps in animal breeding.

For example through genetic diversity different breeds of dogs are produced. Now a day’s genetic diversity is more practised in farm animals to get more meat, eggs, and wool and milk production.

The Farm animals like cattle, water buffalo, sheep, chickens, pigs, horses, and goat are genetically modified to get the best breeds.

529px Montage of dogs
Image Credit: Genetic Diversity In Dogs Wikipedia

Genetic diversity in bacteria:

In bacteria genetic diversity helps them to improve survival in new environment and clinically it is important in the study of antibiotic resistance study, bacterial medium study, study of environmental conditions which are suitable and not suitable for growth of bacteria.

In bacteria genetic diversity can be done by using three methods.


In this process the targeted DNA sequence can be introduced into the bacterial DNA.

The bacteria takes naked DNA molecule from the surroundings. This process is also known as cloning.

This process plays a crucial role in the production of some useful components like insulin which is used for treating of diabetic patients.

how to increase genetic variation
Image Credit: Bacterial Transformation Wikipedia


In this process DNA is transferred from one bacterium to another bacterium through viruses.

In this process viruses are known as bacteriophages and vectors.

Vector cell means the cell which carries the foreign DNA molecule from one cell to another.


It is a type of sexual reproduction in bacteria.

In this two bacterial cells participate and DNA is transferred from one bacterial cell to another cell.

One bacterial acts as an F+ donor and another cell acts as a recipient. DNA is transferred in the circular form (F PLASMID).

 Bacterial conjugation plays an important role in the study of antibiotic resistance.

Genetic Diversity In Prokaryotes:

In prokaryotes genetic diversity takes place in four processes.

The genetic diversity occurs in horizontal gene transfer in prokaryotes.

Transformation, transduction, and conjugation detailed explanation is given above.


This is the process of transfer of genes from one cell to another cell by which the gene is copied or inserted. This transferred gene is also known as transposon. Transposition helps in encoding of antibiotic resistance as well as virulence characters.

Genetic diversity in eukaryotes:

In eukaryotes the gene transfer occurs in vertical process. In eukaryotes recombination of DNA molecules from two different organisms takes place and this leads to genetic diversity.

In eukaryotes mostly genetic diversity occurs through sexual reproduction and mutations.

Sexual reproduction:

In Sexual reproduction male and female cells combine together to form a zygote.

This zygote undergoes several cell division processes and develops into new offspring.

During meiosis phase of cell division genetic diversity takes place in eukaryotic cell.


Mutation means that alter or change in DNA sequence by natural process or chemical agents.

Mutations may occur in a single gene or entire chromosomal sequence.

How to increase Genetic variation?

Genetic variation can be increased by random mating of organisms, random fertilisation.

Crossing over between chromatids of homologous chromosomes during meiosis.

Mutations in gene sequence.

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