The role of genetic polymorphism in evolution: concept of neo-darwinism
In the course of many years of research, neo-Darwinians have detected high levels of genetic polymorphism in natural populations of various representatives of eukaryotes. Its wide distribution was found to result mainly from adaptive superiority of heterozygous individuals. The dependence of the genetic polymorphism on several biotic and abiotic factors, such as intrapopulational competition of individuals, diversity of econiches, climatic features was revealed. Of particular interest are the data indicating the relationship of genetic polymorphism with the behavior of such behavioral traits as social dominance, competition for food, "victory in courtship", because the behavior of individuals, as a rule, determines the course and direction of the evolutionary process. Its leading role is clearly delineated in the development of "biological" species concept and the "balance" hypothesis, which consider the mechanisms of populations’ gene pool formation. All above stated leaves no doubt as to the importance of genetic polymorphism to the evolution of organisms.
Key words: genetic polymorphism, heterosis, neo-Darwinism, adaptation, evolution, "biological" species concept, "balance" hypothesis.