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Nat Rev Genet. 2007 Sep;8(9):675-88.

Mechanistic approaches to the study of evolution: the functional synthesis.

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1
University of Minnesota, St Paul, Minnesota 55108, USA. deanx024@umn.edu

Abstract

An emerging synthesis of evolutionary biology and experimental molecular biology is providing much stronger and deeper inferences about the dynamics and mechanisms of evolution than were possible in the past. The new approach combines statistical analyses of gene sequences with manipulative molecular experiments to reveal how ancient mutations altered biochemical processes and produced novel phenotypes. This functional synthesis has set the stage for major advances in our understanding of fundamental questions in evolutionary biology. Here we describe this emerging approach, highlight important new insights that it has made possible, and suggest future directions for the field.

PMID:
17703238
PMCID:
PMC2488205
DOI:
10.1038/nrg2160
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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