Molecular Evolution Activities

This is a comprehensive bibliography (under construction) of primary and secondary sources on the neutral theory of molecular evolution. It currently covers the period 1973-2001.

Author :

Chao, L.

Year :


Title :

Evolution of sex and the molecular clock in RNA viruses

Journal :


Volume :


Issue :


Pages :


Date :

Dec 31

Short Title :

Evolution of sex and the molecular clock in RNA viruses

Alternate Journal :


Custom 2 :


Abstract :

Although there exist many hypotheses for the advantage of sexual reproduction, Muller's ratchet is one that has received recent attention as an explanation for the evolution of sex in RNA viruses. Muller's ratchet provides for an advantage of sex when the rate of deleterious mutations is high and population size is small. A small population size intensifies genetic drift, which can lead to the random loss of genomes that are free of deleterious mutations. Sex becomes advantageous because it can re-create, through genetic exchange, genomes with fewer or no mutations. RNA viruses may be subject to Muller's ratchet because they have very high mutation rates and they may experience genetic drift if their populations are forced through small bottlenecks during infection. This review discusses the results of laboratory studies examining the possibility of an advantage of sex through Muller's ratchet in RNA viruses. Data from studies of wild populations of RNA viruses are also considered, and a model is presented for how an observed pattern of molecular evolution (or the molecular clock) in wild populations may be explained by Muller's ratchet (or a similar process) and the addition of compensatory mutations to Ohta's model of evolution by slightly deleterious mutations. (C) 1997 Elsevier Science B.V.

Notes :

Times Cited: 10 YQ673 GENE
 -- contributed by John Beatty, March 29, 2002