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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. Nov 15, 1993; 90(22): 10676–10680.

An examination of the generation-time effect on molecular evolution.


By using DNA sequences of 17 mammalian genes, the generation-time effect is estimated separately for synonymous substitutions and nonsynonymous substitutions. Star phylogenies composed of rodentia, artiodactyla, and primates are examined. The generation-time effect is found to be more conspicuous for synonymous substitutions than for non-synonymous substitutions, by using the methods of (i) Nei and Gojobori, (ii) Li, and (iii) Ina. The proportion of accepted amino acid substitutions in evolution is estimated to be about twice as large in the primate lineage as in the rodent lineage. This result is in accord with the nearly neutral theory of molecular evolution.

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