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Nat Rev Genet. 2016 Feb;17(2):71-80. doi: 10.1038/nrg.2015.8. Epub 2015 Dec 21.

Bayesian molecular clock dating of species divergences in the genomics era.

Author information

1
Department of Genetics, Evolution and Environment, University College London, London WC1E 6BT, UK.
2
School of Biological and Chemical Sciences, Queen Mary University of London, Mile End Road, London E1 4NS, UK.
3
School of Earth Sciences, University of Bristol, Life Sciences Building, Tyndall Avenue, Bristol BS8 1TQ, UK.

Abstract

Five decades have passed since the proposal of the molecular clock hypothesis, which states that the rate of evolution at the molecular level is constant through time and among species. This hypothesis has become a powerful tool in evolutionary biology, making it possible to use molecular sequences to estimate the geological ages of species divergence events. With recent advances in Bayesian clock dating methodology and the explosive accumulation of genetic sequence data, molecular clock dating has found widespread applications, from tracking virus pandemics and studying the macroevolutionary process of speciation and extinction to estimating a timescale for life on Earth.

PMID:
26688196
DOI:
10.1038/nrg.2015.8
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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