Genetics Biodiversity refers to the variety of genetic characteristics involved in the genetic structure of a species; it is the diversity within the species which acts as the major reason for the distinguishing characteristic expressed by each individual. All forms of life on earth, whether microbes, plants, animals, or human beings, contain genes. Genetic diversity is the sum of genetic information contained in the genes of individual plants, animals, and micro-organisms. Each species is the storehouse of an immense amount of genetic information in the form of traits, characteristics, etc. The number of genes ranges from about 1000 in bacteria to more than 400 000 in many flowering plants. Each species consists of many organisms and virtually no two members of the same species are genetically identical.