Blackwell Publishing

What is neutralism?

"There has been considerable interest amongst evolutionary biologists about the rate of molecular evolution. Why do molecules evolve at the rate they do? Why do different parts of the genome evolve at different rates? One of the main theories put forward partly to explain the constancy of the rate of molecular evolution is the neutralist theory.

This theory suggests that when neutral mutations crop up in the genome - ones that have no effect either way on fitness: they don't improve it, they don't reduce it - then they can evolve by genetic drift, the process of sampling error that causes gene frequency to change randomly over time."

Linda Partridge

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