Southern red-backed voles (Myodes gapperi) are a small rodent native to most of Canada and south into our local Mink Creek area. The red-backed voles get their name from the red/brown streak of fur that can extend from the nape of their neck to their rump. The length of the red/brown streak has a strong genetic component (1 gene, 2 alleles). These voles prefer to live in forests and dont like to leave the forest or travel between forests. Biology grad student Jonathan has been conducting small mammal trapping in Mink Creek and (amazingly!) has captured every single southern red-backed vole in the area. Jonathan has counted 502 voles with very long streaks (probably homozygous for allele 1), 601 voles with mid-length streaks (probably heterozygotes), and 397 voles with small streaks (probably homozygous for allele 2). Is the population in Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium? If not, offer a hypothesis for why it might be out of HWE, briefly justify your hypothesis, propose a hypothesis that explains HW disequilibrium, and outline a possible test for the hypothesis.
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