NHGRI logo
bases

​Gene Pool

updated: September 23, 2022

Definition

A gene pool refers to the combination of all the genes (including alleles) present in a reproducing population or species. A large gene pool has extensive genomic diversity and is better able to withstand environmental challenges. Inbreeding contributes to a smaller gene pool, making populations or species less able to adapt and survive when faced with environmental challenges.



Narration

Gene Pool. Gene pool refer to the genes, all the genes, within interbreeding populations. One way to look at this is the larger the gene pool, the more likely the population can withstand challenges from the environment. Inbreeding, such as between brother and sister or first cousins, can lead to small gene pool and less ability to be able to withstand challenges that come from environments wherever these individuals live.

Charles Rotimi
Charles Rotimi, Ph.D.

Scientific Director

Division of Intramural Research