if a trait A exists in 10% of a population of an asexually reproducing species; and a trait B exists in 60% of the same community, which trait is likely to have arisen earlier?
A new trait arises in a population due to a mutation in a gene. In the case of asexual reproduction, this gene transfers into the next generation. If the gene is useful to the organism or does not cause any harm, then the gene stays in the population. If the mutated gene harms the organism, gene slowly eliminate from the community.
For example, in humans, sickle celled RBC’s arose due to a recessive gene mutation. It causes anaemia in affected people, but it remains in the population as it saves people from malaria.
A gene mutation is always random and non-directional. We can only predict the time of traits which does not have either benefit or loss. In such cases, a gene with a higher percentage in the population indicates an earlier onset.
In genetic studies, if we see a large percentage of a gene in a population, it indicates a natural selection favouring the gene and vice-a-versa.