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The study of variability within species is important to all biologists who use genetic markers. Since the discovery of molecular variability among normal individuals, data have been collected from a wide range of organisms, and it is important to understand the major factors affecting diversity levels and patterns. Comparisons of inbreeding and outcrossing populations can contribute to this understanding, and therefore studying plant populations is important, because related species often have different breeding systems. DNA sequence data are now starting to become available from suitable plant and animal populations, to measure and compare variability levels and test predictions.