Panmixia is the complete random mixing of a population. It is the state in a single, randomly mixed population where an individual is equally likely to mate with any member of the opposite sex.[1] It is synonymous with random mating. Breeding of a population is not limited by physical, genetic, or social preference, and individuals are able to move freely over wide ranges in order to breed with other members of the population. It assumes that there are no mating restrictions upon the population and that all recombination is possible.[2]

The occurrence and possibility of panmixia is widely debated. One study performed by Dannewitzet. al,provided results that support the panmixia hypothesis. They collected information on the European eel,Anguilla anguilla L., and studied the genetic variation of subpopulations of the eel as well as factors that separate these subpopulations.[3] Their results supported the occurrence of panmixia and found that as barriers are reduced, genetic variation and limitations are also reduced, which allows for larger breeding possibilities and panmixia.


  1. Molumby, Alan. 2006. Mechanisms of Evolution.The University of Illinois at Chicago. p 22.
  2. Gayon, Jean; Cobb, Matthew (1998), Darwinism's Struggle for Survival: Heredity and the Hypothesis of Natural Selection, Cambridge University Press, p. 158, ISBN 0-521-56250-3,
  3. Dannewitz, J et. al. 2005 June 7. Panmixia in the European Eel: A Matter of Time...Proc Biol Sci. 72(1568):1129-37.

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