More HW Concepts


Additional concepts pertaining to the Hardy-Weinberg equation and its significance


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●HW is a peculiarity of obligate sexual, diploid organisms

●HW is a generalization of a Mendelian cross

●HW describes the probabilities of randomly pairing combinations of two alleles

●HW was formulated by Hardy in an attempt to explain why dominant alleles do not take over by virtue of their dominance

●In evolution, HW equilibrium is boring

●In evolution, HW disequilibrium is interesting

●HW assumes random mating in an infinitely large population of strictly sexual, diploid organisms

●HW assumes equal allele frequencies regardless of sex or geographic location

●HW assumes discrete generations (Fisher-Wright model)


  for 2 alleles

  for multiple alleles


Deviation from HW Possible explanation

Excess heterozygotes

Unequal frequencies in the sexes (F1)


Heterozygote deficit

Assortative mating


Wahlund effect