Explain how this experiment showed that genetic drift was not a cause of the antibiotic resistance.


Question: Explain how this experiment showed that genetic drift was not a cause of the antibiotic resistance.

The experiment referenced in your query demonstrated that genetic drift was not the cause of antibiotic resistance by focusing on the behavior of resistance alleles in polyploid versus monoploid elements. In polyploid elements, which have multiple copies of genetic material, resistance alleles were lost more frequently due to segregational drift—a process where allele frequencies change due to random segregation during cell division. This contrasts with monoploid elements, where alleles are present in a single copy and thus less susceptible to such random changes. The study integrated experimental results with a mathematical model, which showed a strong agreement between the predicted and observed outcomes, confirming that the establishment of resistance alleles is significantly influenced by the ploidy level of the replicon. Therefore, the emergence of antibiotic resistance was more dependent on the selection of pre-existing resistant alleles rather than the introduction of new alleles through genetic drift.+6

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