The Neutral Theory of Molecular Evolution

The Neutral Theory of Molecular Evolution

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Description

Motoo Kimura, as founder of the neutral theory, is uniquely placed to write this book. He first proposed the theory in 1968 to explain the unexpectedly high rate of evolutionary change and very large amount of intraspecific variability at the molecular level that had been uncovered by new techniques in molecular biology. The theory - which asserts that the great majority of evolutionary changes at the molecular level are caused not by Darwinian selection but by random drift of selectively neutral mutants - has caused controversy ever since. This book is the first comprehensive treatment of this subject and the author synthesises a wealth of material - ranging from a historical perspective, through recent molecular discoveries, to sophisticated mathematical arguments - all presented in a most lucid manner.show more

Product details

  • Electronic book text
  • CAMBRIDGE UNIVERSITY PRESS
  • Cambridge University Press (Virtual Publishing)
  • Cambridge, United Kingdom
  • 1139927094
  • 9781139927093

Table of contents

Preface; Introduction; 1. From Lamarck to population genetics; 2. Overdevelopment of the synthetic theory and the proposal of the neutral theory; 3. The neutral mutation-random drift hypothesis as an evolutionary paradigm; 4. Molecular evolutionary rates contrasted with phenotypic evolutionary rates; 5. Some features of molecular evolution; 6. Definition, types and action of natural selection; 7. Molecular structure, selective constraint and the rate of evolution; 8. Population genetics at the molecular level; 9. Maintenance of genetic variability at the molecular level; 10. Summary and conclusion; References; Indexes.show more

Review quote

' ... a book which will rank with The Genetical Theory of Natural Selection and The Causes of Evolution as a milestone in evolutionary biology.' Nature 'I have enjoyed the book immensely. It is argumentatively written, but always with fair presentation of the other side.' Bid Essays '... a work of great significance, which should be read by everyone with a serious interest in evolution.' New Scientist '... this book is a major contribution to the field.' The Times Higher Education Supplementshow more

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