I am considering an approach to evolutionary algorithms, in which instead of maintaining a population of individuals, we maintain a pool of $N$ mutations that can be applied to a base genome. For every possible subset (or many possible subsets) of the mutation pool, we apply that subset to the base genome to produce an individual, then test that individual. We discard mutations for which the population with that mutation performs worse than the population without it. We merge the best-performing mutations into the base genome for the next generation. Then we replace the discarded or merged mutations with new ones.
Is this known under some name? Is it a good idea?