Mutations and meiosis (sexual reproduction) are important in making genetic variation in a population and in evolution becuase mutations help add new alleles into the gene pool (through genetic or chromosal), and meiosis (sexual reproduction) helps "shuffle" the alleles present, which happens after homologous pairs go through a process of randomly separating themselves (meiosis I). Also as the two gametes meet during fertilization, the allele combination shuffles again, ensuring variation among species. Mutation allows heritable genetic information to be changed, meaning that it is an essential tool to evolution and natural selection since the passing down of traits is quite important in both cases.



meiosis1.jpg
A diagram of meiosis I




Significance

Without mutations and meiosis, genetic variation in a population would not happen. Mutations and sexual reproduction allows new alleles to be added in the gene pool and for genetic variation to occur. Natural selection and evolution cannot happen without genetic variation. In natural selection, nature selects the individuals that are the best fit in their environment and this is made possible because of genetic variation. Because individuals of a population are genetically varied, some individuals have more favorable traits than other individuals and as a result, they have a better chance of surviving, reproducing, and eventually passing on that favorable trait to its offspring. However, without genetic variation, all individuals of a population would be copies of each other, making extinction very likely and evolution impossible.