Send to

Choose Destination
Mutat Res. 2003 Jan 28;522(1-2):3-11.

Evolution of mutational robustness.

Author information

Digital Life Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, Mail Code 136-93, Pasadena, CA 91125, USA.


We review recent advances in the understanding of the mutation-selection balance of asexual replicators. For over 30 years, population geneticists thought that an expression derived by Kimura and Maruyama in 1966 fully solved this problem. However, Kimura and Maruyama's result is only correct in the absence of neutral mutations. The inclusion of neutral mutations leads to a wealth of interesting new effects, and, in particular, to a selective pressure to evolve robustness against mutations. We cover recent literature on the population dynamics of asexual replicators on networks of neutral genotypes, on the outcompetition of fast replicators by slower ones with better mutational support, and on the probability of fixation at high mutation rates. We discuss empirical evidence for the evolution of mutational robustness, and speculate on its relevance for higher organisms.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science
Loading ...
Support Center