Is genetic diversity really higher in large populations?
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Journal of Biology 2009, 8:41 doi:10.1186/jbiol135Published: 21 April 2009
Analyses of mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) have challenged the concept that genetic diversity within populations is governed by effective population size and mutation rate. A recent study in BMC Evolutionary Biology shows that variation in the rate of mutation rather than in population size is the main explanation for variations in mtDNA diversity observed among bird species.