• We are sorry, but NCBI web applications do not support your browser and may not function properly. More information
Logo of pnasPNASInfo for AuthorsSubscriptionsAboutThis Article
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. Aug 1969; 63(4): 1181–1188.
PMCID: PMC223447

THE RATE OF MOLECULAR EVOLUTION CONSIDERED FROM THE STANDPOINT OF POPULATION GENETICS

Abstract

The rate of amino acid substitutions in the evolution of homologous proteins is remarkably constant. Furthermore, estimated rates of amino acid substitutions based on comparisons of the alpha hemoglobin chains of various mammals with that of the carp are about the same as those based on comparisons of the carp alpha and mammalian beta or the alpha and beta chains in mammals. These uniformities are regarded as evidence for the hypothesis that a majority of amino acid substitutions that occurred in these proteins are the result of random fixation of selectively neutral or nearly neutral mutations.

Two implications of this possibility are discussed: (a) Random gene frequency drift is playing an important role in determining the genetic structure of biological populations and (b) genes in “living fossils” may be expected to have undergone as many DNA base (and therefore amino acid) substitutions as corresponding genes (proteins) in more rapidly evolving species.

Full text

Full text is available as a scanned copy of the original print version. Get a printable copy (PDF file) of the complete article (929K), or click on a page image below to browse page by page. Links to PubMed are also available for Selected References.

Selected References

These references are in PubMed. This may not be the complete list of references from this article.
  • Ohno S, Wolf U, Atkin NB. Evolution from fish to mammals by gene duplication. Hereditas. 1968;59(1):169–187. [PubMed]
  • Kimura M. Evolutionary rate at the molecular level. Nature. 1968 Feb 17;217(5129):624–626. [PubMed]
  • King JL, Jukes TH. Non-Darwinian evolution. Science. 1969 May 16;164(3881):788–798. [PubMed]
  • Kimura M, Ohta T. The Average Number of Generations until Fixation of a Mutant Gene in a Finite Population. Genetics. 1969 Mar;61(3):763–771. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Kimura M. Genetic variability maintained in a finite population due to mutational production of neutral and nearly neutral isoalleles. Genet Res. 1968 Jun;11(3):247–269. [PubMed]
  • VOGEL F. A PRELIMINARY ESTIMATE OF THE NUMBER OF HUMAN GENES. Nature. 1964 Feb 22;201:847–847. [PubMed]
  • Cox EC, Yanofsky C. Altered base ratios in the DNA of an Escherichia coli mutator strain. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1967 Nov;58(5):1895–1902. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • SUEOKA N. On the genetic basis of variation and heterogeneity of DNA base composition. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1962 Apr 15;48:582–592. [PMC free article] [PubMed]

Articles from Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America are provided here courtesy of National Academy of Sciences

Formats:

Related citations in PubMed

See reviews...See all...

Cited by other articles in PMC

See all...

Links

  • PubMed
    PubMed
    PubMed citations for these articles
  • Substance
    Substance
    PubChem Substance links

Recent Activity

Your browsing activity is empty.

Activity recording is turned off.

Turn recording back on

See more...