Por que as espécies variam em sua taxa de evolução molecular?

quinta-feira, novembro 26, 2009

Why do species vary in their rate of molecular evolution?

Lindell Bromham*

- Author Affiliations

Centre for Macroevolution and Macroecology, Botony and Zoology, School of Biology, Australian National University Canberra, Australian Capital Territory 0200, Australia

Author for correspondence (lindell.bromham@anu.edu.au)


Despite hopes that the processes of molecular evolution would be simple, clock-like and essentially universal, variation in the rate of molecular evolution is manifest at all levels of biological organization. Furthermore, it has become clear that rate variation has a systematic component: rate of molecular evolution can vary consistently with species body size, population dynamics, lifestyle and location. This suggests that the rate of molecular evolution should be considered part of life-history variation between species, which must be taken into account when interpreting DNA sequence differences between lineages. Uncovering the causes and correlates of rate variation may allow the development of new biologically motivated models of molecular evolution that may improve bioinformatic and phylogenetic analyses.


molecular clock phylogenetics dating mutation substitution population size


One contribution to a Special Feature on ‘Whole organism perspectives on understanding molecular evolution’.

Received February 18, 2009.

Accepted March 17, 2009.

© 2009 The Royal Society