Format

Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Nature. 1999 Jan 28;397(6717):344-7.

High genomic deleterious mutation rates in hominids.

Author information

1
Centre for the Study of Evolution and School of Biological Sciences, University of Sussex, Brighton, UK. A.C.Eyre-Walker@susx.ac.uk

Abstract

It has been suggested that humans may suffer a high genomic deleterious mutation rate. Here we test this hypothesis by applying a variant of a molecular approach to estimate the deleterious mutation rate in hominids from the level of selective constraint in DNA sequences. Under conservative assumptions, we estimate that an average of 4.2 amino-acid-altering mutations per diploid per generation have occurred in the human lineage since humans separated from chimpanzees. Of these mutations, we estimate that at least 38% have been eliminated by natural selection, indicating that there have been more than 1.6 new deleterious mutations per diploid genome per generation. Thus, the deleterious mutation rate specific to protein-coding sequences alone is close to the upper limit tolerable by a species such as humans that has a low reproductive rate, indicating that the effects of deleterious mutations may have combined synergistically. Furthermore, the level of selective constraint in hominid protein-coding sequences is atypically low. A large number of slightly deleterious mutations may therefore have become fixed in hominid lineages.

PMID:
9950425
DOI:
10.1038/16915
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

0 comments
How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Nature Publishing Group
    Loading ...
    Support Center