Display Settings:

Format

Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
J Theor Biol. 1996 Oct 7;182(3):303-9.

Compensatory nearly neutral mutations: selection without adaptation.

Author information

  • 1Department of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA 02138, USA.

Abstract

One implication of Kacser's analysis of complex metabolic systems is that mutations with small effects exist as a consequence of the typically small flux control coefficient relating enzyme activity to the rate of a metabolic process. Although a slightly detrimental mutation is somewhat less likely to become fixed by chance than a slightly favorable mutation, mutations that are slightly detrimental might be expected to be more numerous than favorable mutations owing to the previous incorporation of favorable mutations by a long history of natural selection. The result is that, as Ohta has pointed out, a significant fraction of mutations that are fixed in evolution are slightly detrimental. In the long run, the fixation of detrimental mutations in a gene increases the opportunity for the occurrence of a compensatory favorable mutation, either in the same gene or in an interacting gene. On a suitably long timescale, therefore, every gene incorporates favorable mutations that compensate for detrimental mutations previously fixed. This form of evolution is driven primarily by natural selection, but it results in no change or permanent improvement in enzymatic function.

PMID:
8944162
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

0 comments
How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Icon for Elsevier Science
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk