Hardy-Weinberg principle

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The stability of successive generations in populations at genetic equilibrium was explained by named after G. H. Hardy and Wilhelm Weinberg who pointed out that the expected frequencies of various genotypes in a population can be described mathematically.

The Hardy-Weinberg principle (often referred as the Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium) explains two things: first, that in large populations the process of inheritance does not by itself cause changes in allele frequencies and second why dominant alleles are not always more common than recessive ones.

The essential assumptions that must be met for Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium are:

  • Mating is random
  • Population size is very large
  • There is no migration between populations
  • Mutation can be ignored
  • Natural selection does not affect the alleles under consideration

Although the Hardy-Weinberg principle is representing an ideal situation that hardly ever occurs in natural world, knowledge of it is essential to understand the mechanisms of evolutionary change in sexually reproducing populations.[1] [2]


  1. Hartl D. L. et al., Genetics: analysis of genes and genomes (2001) – Jones and Bartlett, 5thed.
  2. Wikipedia

See also

The main author of this article is Stamoulis, Antonios
Please note that others may also have edited the contents of this article.

Citation: Stamoulis, Antonios (2012): Hardy-Weinberg principle. Available from http://www.coastalwiki.org/wiki/Hardy-Weinberg_principle [accessed on 28-02-2020]