In the first two sections it is shown that the Fleming-Viot process
can be obtained as limit of the empirical measures of a certain particle system
. The interaction among the particles
has a relatively simple description. Thus the above representation turns out to be a useful device, which is applied in the three subsequent sections of this article to derive a variety of properties of the Fleming-Viot process
. First a connection between the genealogical structure of the population model and the particle system
is established. Then a criterion for the strong ergodicity of
is given, and the speed of convergence to equilibrium is analyzed. The final section is devoted to the derivation of numerous support properties of the sample paths of
. Some of these assertions extend previously known results to the case of more general mutation operators.