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A Primer of Molecular Population Genetics$
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Asher D. Cutter

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780198838944

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: August 2019

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198838944.001.0001

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Neutral theories of molecular evolution

Neutral theories of molecular evolution

Chapter:
(p.67) Chapter 4 Neutral theories of molecular evolution
Source:
A Primer of Molecular Population Genetics
Author(s):

Asher D. Cutter

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/oso/9780198838944.003.0004

Chapter 4, “Neutral theories of molecular evolution,” outlines the logic and predictions of the neutral theory of molecular evolution and its derivatives as a simple conceptual framework for understanding DNA sequence evolution. It introduces the standard neutral model as a null model of evolutionary change in DNA sequences to describe patterns of polymorphism within species and divergence between species. An overview is provided for the molecular clock concept and for predictions about the amount of polymorphism and allele frequency distributions within populations. This chapter covers how population size and selection intersect to define nearly neutral fitness effects and their implications, as well as misinterpretations and misapplications of Neutral Theory. This overview provides a foundation for how theoretical predictions offer null models for tests of molecular evolution developed in later chapters.

Keywords:   neutral theory, nearly neutral theory, divergence, molecular clock, effectively neutral

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